Published: 02nd February 2023
NEET PG 2023 postponement: Will it, won't it? Mentors weigh in on the national exam's fate
The Union Health Ministry was ready to reschedule the exam but TCS, the exam conducting body, was unable to provide a suitable date
As the date for NEET PG 2023 nears, the demands for its postponement get louder. In the latest, Dr Manish Jangra, Founder of FAIMA (Federation of All India Medical Doctors' Association) met officials at the Union Health Ministry on January 31, about which he tweeted, mentioning the officials were ready to postpone the exam, but TCS did not provide a suitable date.
Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) iON is the exam conducting body for NEET PG in the Computer Based Test (CBT) mode, while it is regulated by the National Board of Examinations (NBE). Dr Jangra mentioned in his tweet that the next available dates are in September, as per TCS, if the exam is not conducted on March 5, according to the schedule. Referring to this tweet, people point out that rescheduling a national-level exam is indeed not easy.
"It's not just changing the dates, they need to check the availability of centres on the next date; to finalise on centre it takes a lot of approval. There are hundreds of centres and two lakh candidates. If we talk about feasibility, then we need to think from Ministry and authorities standpoint also," reads a tweet from Neet Mentor (@NEETMENTOR2), which describes itself as a NEET PG guidance channel.
On the other hand, several aspirants point out that if the Ministry is ready, other solutions apart from TCS can be looked for, so that NEET PG can be postponed to May. Backing the students, Gaurav Tyagi, medical education counsellor and a NEET expert, states that a postponement is possible, and not very difficult. "It is only 2 lakh students and it is a one-day exam," he said, adding that the Health Minister's approval was required.
He said further that with the approaching exam, the need of the hour is clarification. "Even if the exam is not going to be postponed, it needs to be clearly stated by the authorities. Confusion is increasing anxiety among the students," Gaurav told. Though experts advise students to stay away from social media, focus on their studies and not get distracted by the postponement rumours, students are continuously seen to be raising postponement demands on social media platforms, especially on Twitter and Telegram.
In contrast, a section of students does not want the exam to be postponed and wants it to be conducted as per schedule. They are mostly post-interns (students who have completed their internship) and want to write the exam as soon as possible. These students point out that many of them have left their jobs in hospitals and have been preparing for NEET PG for the last few months. Thus, a postponement would mean more pressure on them.
Dr Aviral Mathur, President of FORDA (Federation of Resident Doctors' Association) informs that he is in talks with the Ministry and has requested the officials to bring out a clarification soon. "The Ministry has all the data, and we have submitted the students' requests. The authorities are deliberating on the matter. We have requested them to bring out a clarification soon," he said.
In addition to postponement, several students demand a further extension of the NEET PG internship cut-off date. As per data shared by the experts, many aspirants from across India have their internships ending on different dates. While it is June for some, it is August for Telangana students. However, the cut-off date given by NMC (National Medical Commission) is June 30.