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Supreme Court postpones INICET Exams 2021 by a month, it was to be held at AIIMS on June 16

A two-judge vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah has noted that NEET PG Medical exams have already been postponed beyond August to allow resident doctors to engage in the treatment of Covid patients.

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The Supreme Court has postponed the INI-CET Exams 2021, by a month while terming the notification “Arbitrary” which was issued on May 27, 2021, fixing the INI-CET Test on June 16, 2021, for admission to postgraduate medical courses. 

A two-judge vacation bench of Justices Indira Banerjee and M.R. Shah has noted that NEET PG Medical exams have already been postponed beyond August to allow resident doctors to engage in the treatment of Covid patients. The Supreme Court cites the postponement of the NEET PG medical exam and inadequate preparation time to resident doctors for postponing the INI-CET exam by at least one month.

The Court has issued notice to Health ministry, Home Ministry and National Medical Council. 

The Counsel appearing for the petitioners submitted that they will not press the prayer to cancel the exam but need deferment of the exam so the doctors have time to study. 

The Court was hearing the writ petition seeking directions to postpone the INICET Examination, 2021 which is scheduled to be conducted by All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) on June 16, 2021. 

The petition is filed by group of 26 MBBS Graduate who opted to sit for the Post Graduate Entrance Test-INICET for higher studies in the field of medicine/post graduate studies. 

The plea avers, “with the positivity rate in India being 20+% and in some places it is as high as 50%, more than 80,000 doctors will be appearing for INI-CET. A conservative assumption that about 10% are infected, this will itself show the difficulty in arranging for beds and life support for nearly 8,000 doctors who will be taking this examination.” 

The plea states that, “the same testing authority, which is to conduct INI-CET, had declared postponement of the B.Sc. and M.Sc. Nursing Exams, just about 24 hours before declaring that INI-CET will be conducted on 16th June, 2021. This step motherly attitude towards the doctors is completely uncalled for. Further, the 10th and 12th Standard examinations have been cancelled which itself shows that the Government is conscious of the fact that the deadly virus is a threat amongst the younger population. A typical age bracket of doctors appearing for INI-CET would be 24 to 28 years thereby being in an extremely vulnerable section also as a result of being in close proximity and attending to COVID-19 patients.”

“It is also a possibility that if the said examination is conducted, many doctors will resign in order to prepare for the NEET PG examination which is to be conducted in August, 2021 since they might distrust the Government by not keeping their end of bargain with respect to conducting the examination after August, 31, 2021 and providing one month’s prior notice. In the instant case, only 19 days prior notice is given. Also centres for examination are in different states or far from the aspirants’ place of working which may require travelling and thereby facing travel restrictions. It is also submitted that many of these doctors are not fully vaccinated and a lot of them have not received their 1st dose.” 

“The conducting of this examination is resulting in endangering the life of thousands of doctors who are frontline workers in different hospitals which is a clear negation of Article 21 of the Constitution of India,” the plea says. 

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It adds, “Additionally as mentioned above interference of the court is warranted because the students who have filled up the form but are treating COVID-19 patients on a daily basis and therefore are at a huge risk of contracting COVID-19 and thereby ousted from taking the examination. It is also important to mention here that writ petitioner no.1 Dr. Poulami Mondal is in the ICU and being treated for COVID-19 at Desun Hospital, Siliguri.”

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