NEET-SS 2021 to follow existing exam pattern: Centre tells SC
The Centre informed the Supreme Court Wednesday that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post-Graduate Super Specialty (NEET-SS) 2021 would be held per the existing pattern. The new pattern updated by the Centre will be introduced in the next academic year, 2022-23, it said. The Centre was responding to a petition filed by 41 post-graduate doctors challenging last-minute changes in the exam pattern.
Changes were rushed without adequate notice, Centre concedes
Representing the Centre, Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati told the SC that the government, in deference to the observations of the court, and considering the larger interest of students, has decided that the revised NEET-SS exam will be held from 2022. Accepting that the changes in the pattern were unduly rushed, Bhatti said, "This should have been done with adequate notice to the students."
Accepting Centre's submission, SC disposed off petitions
Accepting the Centre's submission, the SC said the petitions filed "under Article 32 are disposed off...since the grievances sought to be raised has been fulfilled." However, the SC in its order "kept open" the issue of "validity of pattern for 2022-23."
Earlier, Centre had proposed to postpone exam for January 2022
On Monday, the Centre submitted that the exams scheduled for November can be postponed to January 2022 so that the students get more time to prepare. On Wednesday, it said two months are needed to do the needful as thousands had registered and question papers have been set as per the new pattern. The SC has allowed the government to decide the dates.
Medical education has become a business: SC
Hearing the matter on Tuesday, the SC had pulled up the Centre, saying that prima facie it appeared that the hasty changes were done to ensure that the seats in private medical colleges do not lay vacant. The SC said the government's rush to implement the changes gives the impression that "medical education has become a business" in our country.
'Heavens would not fall if changes are introduced next year'
On Tuesday, the SC had repeated its earlier concern that changes in the exam pattern are prejudicial to the students who are preparing for years. "Heavens would not have fallen if you would've introduced the changes from next year," it had said.
What did the petition say?
The petition argued that the exam pattern changes were announced after over a month of announcing the exam's dates. The dates of NEET-SS 2021 were announced on July 23, whereas the changes in the pattern were announced on August 31, "when only two months remained before the NEET-SS 2021 exams." The petition had sought that the announcement on August 31 should be made "illegal."
What do the changes in pattern mean?
According to the prevailing pattern of NEET-SS, 40% of the questions come from general medicine and 60% from super-specialty. This format has been in existence from 2018 to 2020. However, the newly proposed changes say that all questions will be from general medicine.