The counselling process for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Masters of Dental Surgery (NEET-MDS) will begin on 20 August and continue till 10 October, as per the Union government.
The Centre and the Medical Counselling Committee made this declaration in an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court. The Central Government also submitted the proposed schedule for the process. It had earlier informed the top court that the counselling would be carried out virtually.
The NEET-MDS exams were held on 16 December last year and the results were declared on 31 December. However, the dates for counselling of students had not been announced. A plea was filed in the Supreme Court by nine students, who challenged the “unjust and infinite delay” caused by the MCC. The plea also stated that about 30,000 graduates in dental sciences had appeared for the NEET-MDS examinations, conducted for admission to over 6,500 seats. “Till date there has been no update,” the plea stated.
The Supreme Court had taken note of the delay. On 9 August, a bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and M R Shah asked the government to notify them of the dates for the counselling by 11 August.
The Centre had recently announced a reservation of 27 percent for Other Backward Classes (OBCs) and 10 percent for Economically Weaker Sections (EWS) candidates appearing for NEET from the academic year 2021-22. It, in its affidavit, stated that the counselling process would be carried out under existing reservation policies, adding that the delay in announcing the dates was caused due to a lack of clarity on the reservation of OBCs in the all-India quota, following a Madras High Court judgment.