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Demand for NEET PG postponement reverberates in Parliament
New Delhi: While responding to the requests of students across the country for postponing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test Postgraduate (NEET-PG) examination, 2023, the Union Health Minister Mansukh Mandaviya informed the Lok Sabha today that since the exam date was announced around five months ago, the students should not face any problem to prepare for the exam.
Further, the Health Minister pointed out that in order to ensure that none of the students across India suffers due to eligibility criteria, the Government has extended the cut-off date for completing MBBS Internship till August 11, 2023.
The Health Minister was responding to a question raised by Parliament member from Assam, Gaurav Gogai who asked the Minister if the MBBS interns or post interns had approached him with the request for posting the NEET PG examination by a few months.
Pointing out that there are still 1311 seats vacant after the NEET PG 2022 counselling and also the fact that the students got very less time to prepare for the exam, he informed the Health Minister about the requests of NEET PG 2023 aspirants to postpone the exam by a few months.
However, responding to this, the Health Minister informed the Parliament that already the Government has decided that all the students who complete their MBBS Internship by August 11, 2023 can appear in the exam.
He informed that this decision of permitting all the students was taken to ensure that none of the students from any college or University across the country suffers from eligibility conditions.
Referring to the fact that the exam is scheduled to be held on March 5, 2023, he further pointed out that the exam date had been declared five months back. Therefore, the students who need to prepare or the exam have been preparing for the test already.
The Health Minister also pointed out the practice of continuous delays in the exam and how the academic calendar got messed up due to COVID-19 pandemic and opined that the academic schedule needs be to made right again.
That's why the students delegation who met us I made them understand that you have already prepared for the exam and I have extended the cut-off date so that none of the students suffer due to eligibility condition, so that all the students get to appear in the exam, clear the exam and after that they get admitted to PG medical courses, the Health Minister further stated.
#NEETPG2023— Dr Anaga N (@dr_anaga) February 10, 2023
Kindly @mansukhmandviya reconsider your decision and #PostponeNEETPG2023 by 3-4 months
6 months of stress is unbearable@PMOIndia @UDAIndia @FAIMA_INDIA_ @docrohan @doctorrajat @boneteacher @bhatia_nachiket pic.twitter.com/85afRk8nvS
Speaking to Medical Dialogues in this regard, Dr Sarvesh Pandey, the General Secretary of Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA), Dr Sarvesh Pandey added, "We had approached the Health Minister and conveyed to him all the issues regarding NEET PG 2023 and the Health Minister had also given his clarification in this regard. We had requested him to convey his stand to the students and clear their confusion as soon as possible. Now that the Health Minister has clarified the matter, the students can prepare for the exam without any confusion."
While commenting on the matter, the National Chairman of Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA) told Medical Dialogues, "It is sad what the Health Minister has said. The date of the examination was given only three months back. The Health Minister said that he wants to bring back normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic. But I want to ask that if the exam is conducted in March, then he should also guarantee counselling in April or March itself."
Also Read: NEET PG 2023, NEET MDS 2023: MBBS, BDS Internship Deadline Extended, details
"The thing is that at present, the eligibility criteria has been extended until August and everyone is eligible. In that case, it is impossible to start the counselling process before August, September. So, if the counselling process starts so late, then what is the point of holding the exam six months beforehand?" he asked.
The NEET-PG aspirants have been demanding the postponement of the exam for quite some time. Previously, NBE had announced that NEET PG 2023 will be held on March 05, 2023 and it had fixed the Internship deadline as March 31.
Since thousands of candidates were ineligible due to the Internship Deadline, NBE provided relief and extended the deadline to June 30, 2023. Even then several candidates could not clear the eligibility criteria for appearing in the PG medical entrance test.
Even after the postponement of the exam, several thousands of candidates remained ineligible for the exam. In Telangana alone, altogether 3000 students remained ineligible since the Kaloji Narayana Rao University of Health Sciences (KNRUHS) extended the internship completion date of MBBS students till August 11. Kakatiya Medical College (KMC) alone has about 200 interns who are now ineligible for writing the PG medical entrance test.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that taking up the issue of NEET PG aspirants, FAIMA, FORDA Indian Medical Association (IMA) had approached the Union Health Minister.
Seeking immediate meeting with the Health Minister for safeguarding the interests of all medical students and medical education in the country, IMA had mentioned in its letter, "NEET PG-2023 examinations date should be postponed by 2-3 months to safeguard the future of aspiring medical students."
Now, NBEMS has further extended the Internship Deadline of NEET PG aspirants till August 11 and therefore, the aspirants are complaining that they have to stand idle for four to five months since the counselling process cannot start before September, 2023.
Also Read: NEET PG 2023: More than 9500 Aspirants sign online petition praying for postponement
Barsha completed her MA from the University of Burdwan, West Bengal in 2018. Having a knack for Journalism she joined Medical Dialogues back in 2020. She mainly covers news about medico legal cases, NMC/DCI updates, medical education issues including the latest updates about medical and dental colleges in India. She can be contacted at email@example.com.