The Supreme Court today came down heavily on the Centre for announcing last-minute changes to the pattern of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Post-Graduate Super Specialty (NEET SS) exam 2021. It has asked the government to hold meetings of the concerned authorities and submit a response to a plea against the tweaks on October 4.
The plea by 41 post-graduate doctors had challenged the abrupt changes contending that this was done to favour general medicine candidates. In 2018, NEET SS involved 40 per cent of the questions from general medicine and 60 per cent from super speciality. This time, however, all questions are to be from general medicine.
The plea stated that dates of NEET-SS 2021 were announced on July 23, 2021, but the change in the pattern was made public more than a month later on August 31 “when only two months remained before the NEET-SS 2021 exams, to be held on the 13th and 14th of November 2021”.
According to the 41 doctors plea, submitted by their advocate Javedur Rahman, aspirants have been preparing for the older pattern for the past three years.
A bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna today questioned the government’s tearing hurry to implement the change in the exam pattern.
“Don’t treat these young doctors as footballs in the game of power…We can’t put these doctors at the mercy of insensitive bureaucrats…Put your house in order…Just because somebody has the power, you can’t yield the power in any manner,” Justice Chandrachud said.
The court asked what the National Medical Commission was doing and reminded the government that the lives of doctors were involved in the issue.
“This is so important for their careers. Now you cannot introduce changes last minute…These young doctors might be put at ruse due to last-minute changes,” Justice Nagarathna said.
The court said that students begin preparing for super speciality courses “months and months” in advance and asked why the changes cannot be introduced from the following year and not right away.
“Please deal with young doctors with sensitivity,” Justice Chandrachud said