NEET-SS exam: SC issues notice to Centre, National Medical Council on plea against ‘last minute' changes

#Current Affairs, #India, #Legal, #NEET-SS, #Supreme Court, ANI has reported, LIVE Law report

The Supreme Court on September 20 issued notice to the Centre and the National Medical Council on a plea by post-graduate doctors alleging last- minute changes in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Super Speciality (NEET-SS 2021) exam pattern, news agency ANI has reported.

The Supreme Court will hear the petition on September 27.

The group of 41 post-graduate doctors had on September 17 filed a petition in the apex court challenging the ‘abrupt last-minute changes’ announced by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in the exam pattern for NEET-SS 2021.

The writ petition was heard by a division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna.

Senior Advocate Shyam Divan, who is appearing for the petitioners, submitted that notification for the examination, scheduled to be held on November 13-14 this year, was issued on July 23, 2021.

However, on August 31, another notification was issued changing the pattern of the exam.

As per a LIVE Law report, Divan argued that this leaves students from other disciplines at a great disadvantage. He also submitted that the authority should not have brought the changes after notification of the exam was issued and students had begun their preparations.

The senior counsel also argued that it is a well settled principle that the rules of the game cannot be changed after it has started.

The extant pattern

Under the earlier exam pattern, which was in place from 2018 to 2020, 60 percent of the marks were allotted for questions in super specialities while 40 percent were distributed for questions from feeder courses.

However, under the proposed pattern, all questions for the critical-care super speciality will be drawn from general medicine.

Contending that there was absolutely no reference to the exam pattern/scheme or any change in the notice dated July 23, 2021, the petition stated: “The Petitioners were surprised to see the scheme of the NEET SS exams in Part 4, having undergone a complete change without any sort of advance intimation, with only two months left for the exam whilst the petitioners have all along been preparing in terms of the extant pattern/scheme of the exam, having absolutely no reason to think that any such drastic change will be made so close to the specified date and without the lawful authority i.e. the Central government directing to do so.”

It had further contended that neither the National Board of Examination nor the National Medical Commission have the authority under any law to make/approve changes to the pattern of the exam.

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