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Supreme Court dismisses plea seeking postponement of NEET-MDS 2022

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The Supreme Court has dismissed the plea by NEET-MDS 2022 aspirants seeking postponement of the examination i.e. National Eligibility Entrance Test – Master of Dental Surgery Entrance Examination 2022 in view of the incomplete one year compulsory internship, which is a pre- requisite/ eligibility criterion for the said examinations, owing to extenuating circumstances caused by the Covid–19 pandemic. 

The petitioners had sought postponement of examination along with its Eligibility Criterion as to completion of the one year mandatory internship under Clause 4.5 of the Information Bulletin pertaining to NEET-MDS Exam, 2022 for the petitioners and other similarly situated students of BDS Course of the batch of 2016-21 in the month of September-October, 2022.

Further, it sought directions to pass or issue fresh notification as regards the NEET-MDS Exam, 2022, particularly the cut-off date for compulsory internship therein, upon consideration of the all material facts and delay in declaration of final year’s results as specific to different dental colleges across India or by Deeming the internship as complete on 31.07.2022 irrespective of the date of start of the same for the purpose of the eligibility criteria for the NEET-MDS Exam 2022. 

The Bench of Justice D.Y. Chandrachud and Justice Surya Kant was seized of a plea filed by a group of students namely Sanjana Boro, Shantanu Bhardwaj, Parul Goel, Sakshi Verma. 

Senior Advocate Sudhir Nandrajog appeared for students of BDS Course of batch 2016-2021.

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Justice D.Y. Chandrachud said that Now they’ve extended the cut of date, you want to further extend the date? Now you’re saying extend it further to Oct that means the medical course will not begin. Because some people will be on this side and some people will be on the other side. Your petition is hit by our previous order that it’s completely within the policy domain. Ultimately the courses will have to begin. We’ll dismiss it. 

The present writ Petition was preferred to relax the eligibility criteria for candidates appearing in National Eligbility Entrance Test- Master of Dental Surgery Entrance Examination 2022.

The facts leading in filing of the Writ Petition are that Uttar Pradesh Dental Council prescribes that after clearing 4th year exam, BDS students must provisionally register with Uttar Pradesh Dental Council and then only, students can commence their one year rotatory internship. Later, CCS University conducts final exams for students of batch of 2016-2021. Results get declared therafter.

In the month of September 2021, the students who cleared their 4th year examination commenced their one year compulsory rotatory internship after registering themselves with the respective state Dental Council.

In the month of December 2021, Secretary, GOI wrote letter to Secretary of Dental Council of India to look into issues of students, states by the writ Petitioner through advocate Charu Mathur.

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As per the information, bulletin dated 4.01.2022 was released by the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences for NEET-MDS Exam 2022. As per Clause 4.5, candidates who are undergoing 12 month compulsory rotatory internship/practical training and are likely to complete the same by 31st March 2022, shall not be eligible for NEET -MDS Exam 2022 unless he/she has completed compulsory rotatory internship and obtained provisional or permanent registration on or before 31st March 2022 or the candidate produces a certificate from head of Institution that he/she will be completing the said internship by 31st March 2022, the writ petition stated.

Regulation III of BDS Regulations consists of 4 academic years with 240 teaching days in each academic year including one year paid rotatory Internship in a Dental College.

Students of BDS course aspired to pursue masters in Dental Surgery, for which it is mandatory for them to appear in NEET -MDS Exam, 2022, as such there is no other entrance examination either at state or Institution level, mention in the Writ Petition. 

The ground raised in Writ Petition mentions that there is likelihood that regulation 7 of MDS Rgulations,2017 can be violated if the no. of candidates who are eligible to appear for NEET-MDS Exam 2022 may be lesser than three times, the number of sets available.

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Another ground raised by advocate Charu Mathur through her writ petition that due to inaction of Dental Council of India, National Board of Examinations, Directorate General of Medical Education and Training, U.P. and U.P. government , almost 600 students of dental colleges affliated with CCS University are going to suffer.

Third ground raised in the Writ Petition is that by the end of 31st July 2022, the students of BDS of batch of 2016-2021 would have completed more than 10 months of their internship and the entire academic year will go in vain, if they would have to apply for NEET -MDS Exam in next academic year i.e. in 2023

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