Doctors Demand Postponement of INICET Exam
New Delhi: Raising objections to the latest notification by All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi, the doctors have started demanding postponement of the INI CET 2021 exam considering the ongoing second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.
Associations of doctors including the Federation of All India Medical Association (FAIMA), National Students' Union of India (NSUI) have written to the Prime Minister and AIIMS authorities seeking postponement of the exam, or at least a notice period of a minimum of one month before the examination.
This comes after a recent notice by AIIMS informing about the rescheduled date for the Online Examination for July 2021 session with respect to PG medical admissions into MD, MS, DM (6 years), MCh, and MDS courses.
INI CET is conducted to admit medical students in several postgraduate courses in 11 prominent medical institutions including AIIMS, New Delhi, and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, Puducherry (JIPMER).
The examination, that was earlier scheduled to be held on May 8, was rescheduled to be conducted on June 17.
However, the decision did not go down well with the aspirants and they started demanding for the postponement of the exam while pointing out that CBSE Class 12 board examinations, and NEET PG examinations have been canceled or postponed amidst the pandemic.
Writing to the Prime Minister Narendra Modi regarding the situation, FAIMA in a letter dated 03.06.2021 mentioned, "While the nation is fighting badly in the pandemic, the second wave has been hitting each individual very hard.The medical fraternity including the MBBS pass-outs have put forward their hard work in this to save the nation."
Pointing out that the doctors didn't deny joining Covid duties and followed the instructions given by the Prime Minister, the letter further stated, "When the Government of India postponed NEET PG 2021 and asked each one of them to do 100 days duty till August 31, 2021, They didn't take a step back. They have joined COVID duties in our respective states and other states too."
Mentioning that INICET announced the examination only 9 days prior to the examination, FAIMA mentioned how it was not "feasible" on the part of the aspirants to "leave their duties midway and sit for the examination."
Demanding at least one month notice period the letter also pointed out how traveling to the center from the workplaces amidst the pandemic would not be viable as there is a lockdown in most of the states till June 17, 2021.
"Neither doing duty is our issue nor giving the examination is our issue. But the postponement of the examination and prior notice before a month will solve our issues stated above," added the letter signed by Dr. Rakesh Bagdi, President of FAIMA.
NSUI also wrote a letter to the Director of AIIMS and pointed out, "most Indian states have either imposed strict or moderate lockdown" and it would give trouble to the aspirants to reach their examination centres.
"The situation is grave and hence conducting offline exams in the middle of a pandemic could potentially give rise to the spread of the virus again and affect the most critical group of frontline warriors responsible for saving millions of Indians," added the letter demanding the postponement of the exam.
Speaking to India TV, Neeraj Kundan, the national president said, "We can't even imagine our doctors are dealing with another level of stress & anxiety during this pandemic. Doctors are sleepless & tired and this is not the ideal atmosphere to put more pressure on them. How they will prepare for this exam in this short period of time."
"NSUI demands postponement of INICET and govt should inform at least one month before, as they promised. Doctors are our front line warriors & we are strongly standing with them," he added.
The social media platforms are also flooding with responses from students demanding postponement of the examination. Trending a hashtag #postponeINICET aspirants have started voicing their protests regarding the issue.
One user wrote, "Many doctors joined 100 day covid duties on GOI's assurance. Now with INICET on june 16 th. GOI is asking doctors to choose btwn our future and Serving in the time of need. Logic ??"
Pointing out that conducting INICET is unfair when NEET PG has been postponed, another user stated, "It's an unfair thing to postpone one Government entrance exam, #NEETPG and calling for covid duty, and then conducting the other exam #INICET suddenly with just 18 days to study 19 subjects. Already doctors are going through a lot these days. #postponeINICET."
While commenting on the issue, several aspirants told The Hindu, "Many of us had taken up COVID-19 duties in various hospitals after the Union government urged MBBS students to join the fight against the pandemic. We were under the impression that the national-level test would not be held in such a short notice."
"The test may turn into a super spreader event. We need to wait for the second wave to recede and the exam could be held after two to three months. The authorities had assured us earlier that the postgraduate exams will not be held till August 31," added the aspirants.
Demanding the postponement of examination by at least 2-3 weeks, an aspirant told India TV, "We should have been informed on time and at least 1 month before so that we could have prepared for the exam. Many of us joined covid duties to serve the nation during 2nd wave on assurance of GOI for no exams in near future and we have been bonded for a period of 3 months. We need to inform well in advance (1 month before) in case we are planning to leave the duty."
"Many students have migrated during this period and the option to change the Centre has not been provided to them. We request that after postponement, the authorities must consider this point too and make adequate arrangements. There are many doctors who are already Covid positive and this might lead to a super spreader event. We need to wait for the second wave to go away. With more than 1.5 lacs cases daily, exams should be considered to be conducted in july," he further added.