SC Dismisses plea seeking further extension of NEET MDS internship Deadline
New Delhi: Denying any further delay in the commencement of the courses, the Supreme Court has recently dismissed a plea seeking further extension of the compulsory internship period for NEET MDS.
The plea had also sought deferment of the exam and relaxation of the eligibility criteria for the candidates appearing in NEET MDS 2022.
However, the top court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and Surya Kant took note of the fact that the cut-off date has already been extended and the exam has been postponed as well.
Dismissing the plea, the bench noted, "Ultimately the courses will have to begin. We'll dismiss it."
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the NEET MDS aspirants were seeking postponement of the exam and an extension of the internship deadline- just like the NEET PG candidates.
Coming in aid to the MDS aspirants, the Union Health Ministry in the communication dated February 17, 2022, had mentioned that it had received representations from MDS aspirants seeking a deferment of the exam. Taking note of the prayers, the Union Health Ministry postponed the MDS entrance by 4-6 weeks and also extended the deadline for completion of the Internship.
Earlier the examination was scheduled to be held on March 6 and consequent to the Health Ministry's directions, the exam got rescheduled on May 2, 2022 and the last date for completion of the internship was also extended from March 31, 2022 to July 31, 2022.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, approaching the Apex Court, some aspirants sought further relaxations in this regard and they contended that the UG dental programme comprised of 4(four) Academic Years with 240 teaching days in each academic year, plus one year paid rotatory internship in a Dental college. Only after this, the BDS degree is granted to the dentists.
Meanwhile, clause 4.5 of the Information Bulletin dated 04.01.2022 mentioned the Internship deadline to be March 31, 2022 and it was mentioned in the Bulletin that candidates would not be eligible to appear in the exam unless they completed their compulsory internship and get provisional or permanent registration on or before March 31 along with a certificate from the head of Institute certifying that the student would complete the internship within March 31.
In fact, the clause had further clarified that any application for appearing in the PG Dental entrance exam from candidates completing internship after March 31 would be rejected as per the Dentists Act, 1948.
The petitioners also referred to the fact that the competent authority extended the date of completion of compulsory rotating internship for eligibility for admission to MDS courses as July 31, 2022 via a notification dated February 17, 2022 and also issued a notice on March 1, 2022 to postpone the exam and reschedule it on May 2, 2022.
At this outset, the petitioners claimed the extension of the internship deadline up to July 31 to be incongruent because several dental colleges announced their results in September/ October 2021.
Thus, the petitioners contended that in such cases the completion date of internship would be September/ October 2022 and consequently, students belonging to such colleges would become ineligible to appear in NEET MDS 2022.
"The action of MoHFW, NBEMS and DCI relating to extended cut-off date of internship is prejudicial to the interests of a large number of students whose university examinations were delayed on account of the COVID-19 pandemic beyond July, 2021, thus, making it impossible for students to meet the eligibility criteria of completing their compulsory internship despite extension for the said period of internship upto 31st July 2022 for NEET- MDS Exam 2022," stated the plea.
During the hearing of the case, the bench took note of the fact that the dates have been already extended and observed, "Now they've extended the cut of date, you want to further extend the date? Now you're saying extend it further to October that means the medical course will not begin. Because some people will be on this side and some people will be on the other side?"
The bench referred to the plea by Shivam Satyarthee & Ors. Versus Union of India & Ors, where the top court had clarified that such matters are within the policy domain.
Referring to this, the bench noted, "Your petition is hit by our previous order that it's completely within the policy domain. Ultimately the courses will have to begin. We'll dismiss it."
Barsha completed her Master's in English 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.