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Supreme Court seeks response from Centre, national medical council in PIL against alleged NEET SS 2021 alteration

Senior Counsel of petitioner doctors Shyam Divan argued that the impugned information bulletin has completely transformed the entrance examination. “After the game is begin they have changed the rules,” he said.

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The Supreme Court today has sought the response from Centre and National Medical Council on a PIL by post-graduate doctors alleging that question pattern for NEET-Super Speciality 2021, has been altered only to favour those who have done post-graduation in general medicine at the cost of other disciplines.

A bench led by Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna has noted the submissions made by the Senior Counsel Shyam Divan appearing for the petitioners that Relying on the example in petition, the entirety of question for critical care SS willl be drawn from general medicine leaving Student form other categories in vain. 

Divan argued that the impugned information bulletin has completely transformed the entrance examination. “After the game is begin they have changed the rules,” he said. 

“NBE has stated that the entrance examination would be of the level of exit exam of post- graduation. Thus, post-graduates from different broad specialities can appear for a single super-speciality exam. For example, post graduates from broad specialties like General Medicine, Anaesthesiology, Emergency Medicine, Paediatrics and Respiratory Medicine are all eligible for DM Critical Care,”

-read the plea. 

Also Read: Supreme Court refuses relief to NLSIU student who wasn’t promoted due to uncleared exams

It said,

“As a matter of fact, less than even 5% of candidates doing Critical Care are from General Medicine background, rest all are from other branches specified above, being predominantly from MD Anaesthesia and MD respiratory. The erstwhile pattern had a paper with 60% questions from Critical Care (i.e. the super-specialty subject) and 40% questions were mixed questions from all the five above mentioned broad specialties ensuring a level-playing field. The proposed new pattern is forcing all the candidates from above mentioned broad specialties to write a single paper which will have 100% questions from General Medicine. There will be no questions from broad specialties of other four post-graduate branches. The pattern is not just a waste of time an effort for all those who have prepared for Critical Care but also grossly biased against few broad specialties.”

The Supreme Court has recorded the submissions, “The petition is instituted by post graduate doctors who have challenge the change in pattern of ensuing NEET-SS which is due to be held on 13/14 Nov. The notification for the examination was issued on 23rd July. On 31st July the entire pattern which was prevailed from 2018 has been sought to be changed. 60% marks were to be allotted in super speciality. While 40% from feeder courses. Relying on the example in petition, the entirety of question for critical care SS willl be drawn from general medicine leaving Student form other categories in vain.” Following which the Supreme Court has Issued notice to respondents. And list the matter for hearing on coming Monday.

The plea has been filed by more than 40 doctors challenging the last moment change in the pattern/scheme of NEET-SS, 2021, alleging it grossly infringed and violates the fundamental rights of the petitioners under Article 14 of the Constitution of India who are rendering valuable services to the nation in order to manage COVID 19, and on side have been strenuously preparing for this super speciality entrance exam keeping in view the pattern that existed over the last three years. 

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The plea stated that,

“All the aspirants were preparing as per the old pattern placed for the last 3 years, especially based on earlier occasions i.e., in 2018 and 2019 when changes were proposed to be made in the pattern, which was made public around 6 months before the examination.”

The Petitioners submitted that the impugned orders are liable to be quashed on the premise of lack of authority on the part of Respondent No. 1 – NBE and 2 – NMC to approve changes in the absence of the Central Government directing them to do so, moreover, violating rights of the Petitioners u/a 14 of the Constitution.

The Petitioner further seeks a declaration that the pattern of NEET-SS 2021 is illegal having been carried out without any authority by Respondent No. 1 and 2, moreover declaring that only Central Government is authorized to carry out changes in the pattern of NEET-SS under the existing laws, as well as, restoration of the old pattern conducted in 2018-2020, or directing that the changed pattern shall not be implemented this year due to paucity of time, but in NEET-SS 2022 and onwards.

The petition is filed through Advocate-on-Record Javedur Rahman.

Case Name- Prateek Rastogi and Ors. vs. National Board of Examination and Ors.

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