NEET-SS 2021: SC Issues Notice on Petition Challenging ‘Last Minute’ Changes

Change in the exam pattern was notified just 2 months before the scheduled date of NEET-SS 2021.

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The Supreme Court on Monday, 20 September, issued notice in a writ petition challenging the “abrupt” and “last minute changes” made to the paper pattern of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Super Specialty (NEET-SS) 2021 by the National Board of Examinations (NBE).

The petition was filed by 41 post-graduate doctors from across the country, asking the arbitrary changes to be struck down striking down the changes as it arbitraty made, just before a month left for the medical entrance.

The petition was heard the division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna.

The petition stated that though the dates of NEET-SS 2021 were announced on 23 July, change in the pattern was notified more than a month later on 31 August, with just two months remaining to the exams scheduled on 13-14 November.

'No Six Month Advance Notice Given’

Now, the petitioners have argued that they have been preparing as per the previous pattern of the last three years.

Moreover, they said, previously when changes in the pattern were announced, they were made six months in advance to ensure availability of “ample time to the students for making preparations”, LiveLaw reported.

The petition also mentions that there was no indication of a change in pattern in the notice dated 23 July, which is why there was “no reason to think that any such drastic change will be made so close to the specified date and without the lawful authority (the central government) directing to do so.”

Moreover, the petition further challenges that neither the NBE nor the National Medical Commission (NMC) have the authority to change the pattern of the exam.

Referring to Regulation 9 of Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations 2000, the petition adds that only the Central Government through the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare can make changes to the exam pattern, LiveLaw reported.

Furthermore, the doctors have contended that the previous pattern was conceptually designed to majorly test aspirants in subjects they wish to expertise in, while assigning some percentage to basic subjects. In contrast, the new exam pattern woud make aspirants take super speciality subjects they do not even like.

The petition stated, “In the end this system will produce doctors who do not have complete passion for the super speciality.”

The petition will be heard next Monday, on 27 September.

Doctors have sought the top court to declare the 31 August notice illegal and in excess of delegation of powers conferred by the NBE and NMC.

Moreover, the petition has also sought for seeking to declare only Central government is empowered under the existing laws to carry out changes in NEET SS exams.

(With inputs from LiveLaw)

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Edited By :Padmashree Pande
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