SC Holds OBC Reservation in PG NEET Ensures Substantial Equality

DESK BRIEF: On Thursday, the Court issued an Order explaining its decision to permit reservations for OBCs in PG medical entrance exams.

Discussions on reservation dominated the week at the Supreme Court. On Thursday, the Court issued an Order explaining its earlier decision to permit reservations for OBCs in postgraduate medical entrance exams. In an Interim Order in the same case, Justice Chandrachud wrote that the Court would not interfere with the Union Government’s ₹8 lakh income criteria for EWS reservations until it was convinced the policy was prima facie arbitrary. 

In its January 19th Order, the Court upheld reservations for OBCs in the All India Quota for medical examinations in the current and future academic years. The Court emphasised that the All India Quota was designed to be free only from domicile reservation. Reservations based on other considerations were permissible within the AIQ. 

Chandrachud J wrote that merit cannot be viewed through the narrow lens of marks in an examination, and that it is social, cultural and economic advantages that enable a forward caste candidate to obtain high marks. Reservations therefore reconfigure merit to advance substantive equality.

The Court is expected to hear detailed arguments on the validity of the 8 lakh income criteria in March 2022.

Reports on every hearing and all relevant documents filed in this case are available at

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