The Supreme Court will hear a plea filed to seek postponement of the postgraduate medical entrance exam – NEET PG on May 13. Senior advocate Rakesh Khanna has filed a plea on behalf of doctors who want the NEET PG exam dates to be postponed by about 8 weeks . The exam is currently scheduled to be held on May 21. The petition will be heard by Bench of justice DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha.
Candidates are seeking postponement on two grounds. First, they claim that the exam is clashing with ongoing counseling process for NEET PG 2021. Doctors who cleared NEET PG 2021 and have a lower rank would wait till last rounds to get a seat, however, in the meantime the application process for NEET PG 2022 has been closed.
The counseling process will be over by May 9, if not extended further, and the exam will begin on May 21. This leaves no little time for candidates to prepare and can lead to wasting a year. The petitioners are demanding a ‘fair opportunity’.
Further, there are as many as 5000 interns who are ineligible to appear for the exam as they served during the Covid-19 pandemic and an extension will help these interns too to be eligible for the exam.
The plea sought direction to quash the notification dated February 4 issued by the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences for holding the NEET PG-2022 examination on May 21 and or defer the scheduled date of the examination. It said that some of the petitioners and aspirants are the candidates who have appeared in NEET-PG 2021 and are participants in the ongoing counseling process which is unlikely to get concluded by May 9, 2022, considering the roller-coaster ride which they have been subjected to since July 2021.
The petitioners and other thousands of aspirants are becoming victims of the system and are made to suffer for no fault of their own, the plea said, which has been filed by 15 doctors who have done their MBBS courses. The plea said it raises substantial and important questions of law like as to why should NEET-PG 2022 aspirants/candidates be made to suffer and not be given a fair opportunity for participation in the NEET-PG examination 2022 when the counseling of last academic year NEET-PG 2021 is still undergoing and likely to be over by May 9.
It further raised the question of whether the petitioners can be deprived of even filling up forms for the NEET-PG examination 2022, as the last date for it was closed on March 25 and the petitioners being participants in AIQ Mop-UP counseling did not fill out a form than in the hope of getting the seat and now after the cancellation of AIQ Mop-UP on March 31 because of the fault of the Medical Counseling Committee (MCC) and others.
Last month, however, SC had dismissed a plea to extend internship deadline for NEET PG aspirants claiming it would disrupt academic schedule. The NEET PG 2021 counseling process was postponed many times due to an ongoing case in Supreme Court regarding reservation.
The NEET PG aspirants are MBBS graduates or practicing doctors who apply to study for postgraduate courses in medicine and related fields. In a letter to President Ram Nath Kovind earlier the doctors said that they will be left with no choice but to surrender their prestigious medical degrees to the government
Further, on behalf of the All India Medical Students Association (AIMSA), a writ petition has been filed in SC by advocate Sandeep S Tiwari seeking postponement of the medical entrance exam.
Recently, a meeting was held between FAIMA and ministry of health. After their meeting FAIMA chairperson said that the final decision about conducting NEET PG exam will on the scheduled date will likely come soon.
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