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COVID DATA January 20, 2022 INDIA: New Cases: 3,17,532 Total Cases: 3,82,18,773 New Deaths: 491 (including old unreported deaths) Total Deaths: 4,87,693 New Tests: 19,35,180 Total Tests: 70,93,56,830 New Vax: 73,38,592 Total Vax: 159,67,55,879 Hot Spot States (daily deaths above 10) Assam: New Deaths: 15 Total Deaths: 6,248 Bengal: New Deaths: 38 Total Deaths: 20,193 Bihar: New Deaths: 11 Total Deaths: 12,156 Delhi: New Deaths: 35 Total Deaths: 25,460 Gujarat: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 10,186 Haryana: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 10,136 Jharkhand: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 5,225 Karnataka: New Deaths: 21 Total Deaths: 38,486 Kerala: New Deaths: 49 Old Unreported Deaths: 85 TPR 37.17% Total Deaths: 51,160 Maharashtra: New Deaths: 49 Total Deaths: 1,41,934 Punjab: New Deaths: 29 Total Deaths: 16,846 Rajasthan: New Deaths: 12 Total Deaths: 9,031 Tamil Nadu: New Deaths: 35 Total Deaths: 37,073 - India Travel Times.Com   [Estd: 1998]       * * *    Travel, More Travel, Travel Means A Million Things     * * *    
Panel set up to review Rs 8L criteria for EWS quota in NEET admission

NEW DELHI, Dec 1: The Centre has appointed a three-member committee to review the criteria set for identifying the EWS (Economically Weaker Sections) for the purpose of reservation provided under the new rules for jobs and admission to educational institutions. The committeee was formed following the Supreme Court questioning the rationale behind fixing the income criteria of Rs 8 lakh for determining the eligibility.

Former Finance Secretary Ajay Bhushan Pandey will head the committee, which has been given three weeks to complete the review, the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment announced on Tuesday. The other two members are member-secretary of the Indian Council of Social Science Research (ICSSR) V K Malhotra and Principal Economic Advisor to the Government Sanjay Sanyal.

The committee will review the criteria for identifying the EWS sections while keeping in mind the Supreme Court observations of October 21, 2021, the statement added. “It will also examine various approaches so far followed in the country for identifying economically weaker sections, and recommend criteria that may be adopted for identifying EWS category in future,” it said.

The court had questioned the decision to adopt the criteria of annual income of Rs 8 lakh for determining the eligibility for the EWS. It posed the question if it would not be arbitrary to have the same income limit of Rs 8 lakh for both the EWS and OBC categories, as the former is not about social and educational backwardness.

Since the amendment Act has not been stayed by the apex court, the Government had issued a notification on July 29 introducing 10% EWS quota along with 27% quota for OBC within AIQ seats in NEET medical admissions from this academic year. By this decision, 2,500 PG seats in Government medical colleges would go to OBCs and 1,000 to those from EWS.

The committee has been set up following the Supreme Court intervention in the matter of reservation criteria. The next hearing is on January 6, 2022.

The 10% EWS quota was introduced under the 103rd Constitution (Amendment) Act, 2019 which is under challenge before a Constitution bench of the Supreme Court.

On Thursday, Solicitor General of India Tushar Mehta had told the apex court, "In the matter I have instruction to say that the Government has decided to revisit the criteria. We will formulate a committee and take a fresh decision within 4 weeks. Till then the counselling (NEET) shall remain stayed only."

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