Centre to defer change in NEET-SS exam pattern

New Delhi, Oct 06 (PTI): In a relief to thousands of young doctors pursuing higher specialisation courses, the Centre on Wednesday told the Supreme Court that in the interest of students, it has decided to implement changes in the pattern of the NEET-Super Speciality (NEET-SS) examination from the academic year 2022-23.
The government indicated that it may defer the examination for the academic year 2021-22 by a couple of months as they have to start the process all over again.
The top court was hearing a batch of pleas of 41 post-graduate doctors and others who had challenged the last-minute changes made to the syllabus after the notification was issued on July 23 for the test to be held on November 13 and 14.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud, Vikram Nath, and BV Nagarathna recorded the submission of Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati and disposed of a batch of pleas of students who have challenged the Centre’s decision to implement changes in the examination pattern of NEET-Super Speciality from this year.
Bhati said, In the interest of the students, who have prepared in line with the old scheme, the government in consultation with the two expert bodies (National Medical Commission (NMC) and National Board of Examination (NBE)) has decided that this revised scheme of NEET-SS will be implemented from 2022 .
She said that this will mean that the current NEET-SS-2021 will be held in accordance with the norms that were there in the NEET-SS-2020.
The bench recording the submissions said, The Union of India states that a decision has been taken by it in consultation with the NMC and the NBE to the effect that having regard to the interest of the body of students, who would have commenced preparations for the ensuing NEET-SS-2021 examination before the change in the pattern was notified, the modified pattern shall be given effect to only from the academic year 2022-23 .
During the brief hearing, Bhati said that she wanted to allay the apprehension which the court has expressed on Tuesday about an attempt being made to fill private medical college seats.
The bench told Bhati to leave the issue at that.
Bhati said that she just wants to inform the court that out of 805 seats that remained vacant last year 561 were private medical college seats and 241 were government medical college seats.
She, however, said that about the observation made by the court and in the interest of the students, the process of change of pattern should have been done with adequate notice to the students.
She indicated that the authorities may need a couple of months more to hold the examination which was scheduled for November 12-13 as the now whole process needs to be changed.
The bench said that the government has acted in a very fair manner and it is up to the authorities as to when to hold the examination but certainly this year.

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