SC authorizes resumption of NEET counseling according to existing EWS criteria
Daily NEWS Summary | 07-01-2022; Supreme Court allowed National Eligibility cum Entrance Test or NEET to conduct counselling while maintaining a reserve of 27% for other backward classes (OBC) and 10% for economically weaker sections (EWS) in the All India Quota (AIQ) seats in accordance with the government decree of July 29, 2021 not to “disqualify” medical admissions this year.
- The ₹ 8 lakh gross annual family income threshold criterion to identify the EWS, as originally notified in an official memorandum of January 2019 and recommended for maintenance by the expert committee headed by the former secretary of finance designated Ajay Bhushan Pandey by the government on December 31, 2021, it would be implemented for the admission year 2021-2022.
- However, the court maintained the 27% reserve for OBCs in NEET’s AIQ slots for graduate and undergraduate admissions. There would be no further debate on this aspect.
- The question of the validity of the EWS criteria, including the ₹ 8 lakh income threshold, which is expected to be implemented in this year’s NEET board so as not to change medical admissions for 2021-2022, would finally be heard and decided by the Supreme Court in the third week of March, a bench of Judges DY Chandrachud and A.S. Bopanna pointed out his provisional order.
- After pronouncing it, Judge Chandrachud orally specified to the parties that “we have maintained the constitutional validity of the 27% reserve for OBCs. Regarding the EWS criteria, we have said for this year, the criteria that were previously notified [January 2019] will continue to work to ensure that the admission process for this year does not get loose ”.
- The judge continued: “Prospectively, and for the future, we will finally hear the petitions regarding the EWS criteria in the third week of March and we will rule on it. The sentence will then be applied prospectively and for the future.”
- In issuing the operational instructions in the interim order, the court noted the “urgent need to start the NEET counseling process” for 2021-2022.
- First, the court agreed with the government and the Pandey committee that the EWS criteria stipulated in January 2019 should be used for NEET admissions this year so that the whole exercise does not derail.
“The notice for NEET PG 2021 and NEET UG 2021 will be made by giving effect to the reserve provided for in the notification of July 29, 2021, which includes a reserve of 27% for OBC and a reserve of 10% for the EWS category for Seats AIQ, ”he ordered.
- Second, it ordered that the “criteria for determining the EWS, as notified by the official memorandum of January 2019, be used to identify the category of the EWS for candidates who took the NEET PG and NEET UG exams in 2021”.
- Third, he said any additional and forward-looking recommendations made by the Pandey committee, changing the criteria in the January 2019 memorandum, would be subject to the final outcome of the trial in court.
- The case refers to requests filed by doctors in August 2021 against the notification of July 29, 2021 issued by the General Directorate of Health Services of the Ministry of Health which put in place a reserve of 27% and 10% for the OBC and EWS, respectively, while filling 15% undergraduate positions and 50% postgraduate AIQ positions under NEET.
- During the hearings in the case, the court raised questions about the income limit of ₹ 8 lakh for identifying the EWS category according to the official memorandum of January 2019. The Constitution Act (One Hundred and Third Amendment), which introduced the fees EWS of 10%, it entered into force on January 14, 2019.
- The court questioned whether there had been any application of the spirit before setting the limit of ₹ 8 lakh, and whether it was was acting as a “mechanical adoption” of OBC’s creamy lawyer court.
Mandatory seven-day home quarantine for all foreign travelers
Daily NEWS Summary | 07-01-2022; All international travelers will be required to undergo a seven-day home quarantine upon arrival in India from January 11, according to the latest government guidelines. These passengers will need to take an RT-PCR test on the eighth day after arriving in India and upload their result to the Air Suvidha portal. State governments will need to monitor test results. If passengers test negative on the eighth day, they will self-check their health for the next seven days.
- Previously, only passengers from countries identified as “at risk” had to undergo a seven-day home quarantine. Passengers from at-risk countries will continue to require a COVID-19 test after arriving at the airport, wait for its result before leaving the airport, or take a connecting flight.
- All countries in Europe and 18 other countries have been identified as at risk. These include South Africa, Brazil, and Botswana, China, Ghana, Mauritius, New Zealand, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Hong Kong, Israel, Congo, Ethiopia, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Nigeria, Tunisia, and Zambia.
SC asks HC to secure security records for PM’s visit to Punjab
Daily NEWS Summary | 07-01-2022; Supreme Court ordered the Secretary General of the High Court of Punjab and Haryana to “immediately” seize and secure the records of security measures for Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Punjab on January 5.
- A court headed by the Chief Justice of India, N.V. Ramana orally called on the Punjab and the Center to suspend the investigations of their respective committees until Monday, the next date of the trial. The Prime Minister’s caravan was trapped in an flyover in Punjab for 15 to 20 minutes.
- The incident sparked a furious exchange of allegations in public forums and turned into a political brawl. A petition has been filed with the Supreme Court accusing the Punjab police of “collusion”. He said the incident was “the biggest security breach by any Indian prime minister in recent years.”
- Appearing before the House, the Center joined petitioner NGO Lawyer’s Voice in expressing its suspicions that the security breach has a “potential cross-border terrorism” angle. They said that before the prime minister’s visit, a banned overseas organization had posted a video urging people to take certain measures. They added the presence of the National Investigative Agency (NIA) in the investigation was essential.
- Attorney General Tushar Mehta said the event could be considered “the rarest of the few” because it could have become an “international embarrassment” for India. Mehta again agreed with lead attorney Maninder Singh, for the petitioner, in urging the court to immediately order the seizure and protection of documents related to the security arrangements that were in place for the prime minister’s caravan. The Center and the petitioner said that the court could chart a course once the evidence was protected.
- Although the Center suggested that the Bathinda district judge could collect and secure the cases with the help of the NIA, the court decided to transfer responsibility to the senior high court official in Punjab and Haryana.
- He also ordered the Punjab government, including the state police authorities; the SPG; other central and state agencies to cooperate and assist the Registrar General in the seizure and protection of records. In addition, he ordered the Director General of Police (DGP), the Chandigarh Union Territory and NIA agents to be included in the team to assist the Registrar General in compiling the files.
FIR and NCW cite hairdresser Jawed Habib for spitting on a woman’s head
Daily NEWS Summary | 07-01-2022; Popular hairstylist Jawed Habib got in trouble for allegedly spitting on a woman’s head while combing her hair and apologized for his action, even when Muzaffarnagar police registered an FIR against him and the National Commission for Women (NCW) issued a subpoena.
- Police said the FIR was dropped off at Mansurpur Police Station in Muzaffarnagar, Uttar Pradesh, following a complaint filed by Baraut city resident Pooja Gupta, on whose head Habib allegedly spat. He was convicted under section 355 (assault or criminal force with the intent to dishonor a person) of the Indian Penal Code and the Epidemic Diseases Act of 1897, they said.
- In Jaipur, former city mayor and congressional leader Jyoti Khandelwal also filed a complaint against Habib, accusing him of insulting women. The NCW summoned him on January 11 to explain his action. He also asked the Uttar Pradesh police to investigate the veracity of an alleged video showing Habib spitting on the woman’s head. In its convocation published Friday, the NCW said it had taken Habib’s action seriously.
- A renowned hairdresser, Habib operates more than 850 salons and around 65 hairdressing academies in 115 cities across the country. In the alleged video of the incident, which took place in Muzzafarnagar on January 3, Habib is seen spitting on the woman’s head as she turns her back to him. “If there is a lack of water, then use saliva,” he can be heard saying. Audiences can be heard laughing and clapping in the background in the video which has now gone viral, with netizens criticizing Habib for his action. Hindu activists also staged a protest against Habib and demanded action against him.
- In a video statement released on Friday, the barber apologized for the act.In her complaint, the former mayor of Jaipur said that Habib’s act “shows the evil mentality of the person who insulted women through his act. He is a celebrity and such an act deserves strict action. We have filed a complaint with the police to register an FIR ”.
Covid Update: The number of coronavirus cases reported in India stood at 35,247,712 at the time of this report, with a death toll of 483,243.
- Legendary actor Sidney Poitier, the first black man to win the Oscar for best actor, has died at the age of 94. The Hollywood star was known for films like Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, In the Heat of the Night and Lily of the Fields, for which he became the first black man to win the Oscar for Best Actor.
- Indian economy is expected to grow 9.2% in fiscal year 2021-2022, surpassing the pre-COVID level in real terms, mainly due to improved performance, especially in the sectors of the agriculture, mining and manufacturing. The improving economy is due to a 7.3% GDP contraction in 2020-21 due to the pandemic and the resulting lockdown imposed to slow the spread of the deadly coronavirus.