Published: 26th January 2022
MBBS students file plea in SC for postponement of NEET PG as their internships were delayed by COVID duty
The students claimed that since they were on COVID duty last year, their internships took a backseat, and therefore, according to the NEET PG regulations, they will be ineligible for the PG exam
A plea was filed on Tuesday in the Supreme Court seeking postponement of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) PG scheduled on March 12 for admissions to post-graduate medical courses, claiming that many MBBS graduates would not be able to sit the examination due to non-completion of the mandatory internship period.
The ple, filed by six MBBS graduates through Dubey Law Chambers, seeks a direction to the National Board of Examination (NBE) to defer the scheduled test until various requirements, such as completion of the mandatory internship period, set forth in the PG Regulations, are met by many aspirants.
One of the NEET PG regulations said that 30 beds of a hospital have to be assigned to one unit of students pursuing the PG course and now two students of two academic sessions will have to be accommodated in the same facility.
The petition raises a challenge to the violation of NEET PG Regulations, 2000, despite while admitting candidates for academic sessions in one session are going on as there is an "explicit cap on the number of PG admissions to be done per year per unit", a lawyer of the firm said.
Several hundred MBBS graduates, whose internship took a backseat as they helped tackle the COVID-19 pandemic, would be rendered ineligible from appearing in the NEET PG test due to lack of mandatory internship duty that too without their fault, the plea said while seeking deferment of the test.
It referred to the statement made by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on May 3, 2021 to postpone NEET PG 2021 by at least four months and the fact that the services of final year MBBS doctors will be utilised to handle mild COVID cases.
The plea challenges the condition provided in the information bulletin which provides May 31, 2022, as the deadline to complete the internship. "The petitioners (along with 1500 candidates) have mentioned that they were assigned COVID duties in the year 2021 and therefore their internship was postponed. They have submitted that they are victims of circumstances and that they were not informed at any time that serving Covid duties would be tantamount to a situation where they will not be eligible to appear for the NEET-PG," the lawyer said. The plea has sought an extension of the deadline of completion of the internship from May 31.
Recently, the apex court, on January 7, had paved the way for starting the stalled NEET PG 2021 counselling process based on the existing 27 per cent OBC and 10 per cent EWS reservations in the All India Quota seats, citing the "urgent need" to begin the admission process.