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Supreme Court Asks Government to Fill 3373 Vacant AIQ Seats under NEET-PG Counselling

The Supreme Court of India has issued a notice over a plea filed for the Union government to declare the vacant seats of All India Quota (AIQ) under NEET-PG 2020 (Medical). The seats have been left vacant by several candidates, as the shortlisted candidates did not join college after the 2nd round of counselling. The plea requested to fill 3373 vacant seats in order of merit in the NEET-PG exam.

The plea was filed by advocate Adeel Ahmed, which stated that the exam results for admission to postgraduate courses of AIIMS, JIPMER and PGI-Chandigarh were released after Round-2 counselling of NEET-PG. As many students got admission in these colleges, a large number of AIQ seats under NEET-PG were left vacant, which were now being transferred for state counselling.

“COVID-19 Pandemic Caused Delay”

The notice was issued by a bench of Supreme Court judges A M Khanwilkar, Dinesh Maheshwari and Sanjiv Khanna. The bench has further listed this case for an urgent hearing on 14th August 2020.

As the vacant seats were being transferred to respective states for state counselling, “many candidates like the petitioner, who were willing to avail the AIQ seats, are being deprived of the opportunity, as the vacant or lapsed AIQ seats are being passed on to the states”, the plea had argued.

COVID-19 pandemic has caused a delay in exams, results and thus counselling for several medical PG exams of colleges such as AIIMS, PGI Chandigarh and JIPMER. However, NEET PG was already conducted around January 2020. This created chaos as many students who secured seats in top medical colleges, opted out of allotted seats under NEET-PG Counselling.

According to the plea, India is under deep threat because of COVID-19 pandemic. The healthcare system has been collapsing. The country needs trained doctors and educated professionals. If the seats under All India Quota are lapsed, bright talent of the country will be deprived of opportunities and experience of top medical colleges in India. Hence, the government should intervene and the AIQ seats in Government Medical Colleges and Deemed Universities must be allotted based on the candidates’ rankings in NEET-PG 2020.