New Delhi: After much delay, the Ministry of Health on Sunday announced to start of the process of counselling for admission to NEET-PG (National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test, Postgraduate) courses from January 12.

“In accordance with the assurance given to resident doctors by the Health Ministry and following the Supreme Court orders, the Medical Counselling Committee will commence counselling for NEET-PG admissions from January 12. This will boost India’s efforts to fight Covid-19. Congratulations to all aspirants,” Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya tweeted.

The NEET-PG was held on September 11 last after being rescheduled twice and counselling was to start in October after the declaration of results.

Thereafter, the process was stalled after a slew of petitions in the Supreme Court challenged on July 29, 2021, notification of the government. The notification provided 27 percent reservation to Other Backward Classes and 10 percent to Economically Weaker Sections in All India Quota Scheme of the Centre for undergraduate and postgraduate medical, dental courses from the academic year 2021-22.

The petitions challenged the applicability of the Rs 8-lakh annual income limit for the EWS beneficiaries while calling for merit-based admissions with minimum reservation in medical PG courses.

The Supreme Court on Friday passed an interim order allowing the reservations and said there was an urgent need to commence counselling.

Resident doctors across various colleges had been protesting the delay in NEET-PG counselling. Nearly 45,000 seats will be filled through counselling.