No Relief: Supreme Court refuses to postpone DNB Final Theory Exams
New Delhi: Observing that postponing an exam is the function of an expert body, the Supreme Court today dismissed a plea seeking postponement and rescheduling of DNB/DrNB final theory examination.
The top court bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud, AS Bopanna, and Vikram Nath further noted that there were no extraordinary reasons for the Court to intervene in the matter.
"Postponement of their examination is entirely the function of an expert body which is entrusted with the duty of holding the examination. There are no extraordinary reasons for this court to breach the norm by entertaining this petition under article 32 of the Constitution. Dismissed," the bench was quoted observing by Live Law.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the doctors had approached the Supreme Court and demanded to reschedule of the DNB/DRNB final theory examination 2021. They had pointed out how they had to face "unprecedented academic loss" due to their continuous work as COVID warriors.
Apart from this, the doctors in their plea had further referred to the pending NEET PG 2021 and PDCET 2021 counselling, and pointed out how this had resulted into acute shortage of resident doctors leaving the current residents overworked and underprepared to appear in the exam.
It had been argued on behalf of the doctors, who are undergoing DNB training programme that even though it was the pandemic which messed up with the calendar of National Board of Examinations (NBE), now the students are paying the price as NBE is asking the doctors to appear for their final exam without any preparatory leave, "despite having 6 to 9 months of training tenure still left."
"That it is evident from the fact that the Respondent No. 1 (the NBE) itself had to extend the timeline for course completion and final theory examination for the December, 2020 and June, 2021 batches, by three months. The online teaching programmes and academic training programme conducted virtually or offline during testing times were severely compromised as Petitioners and other DNB doctors had to serve for longer hours, in order to discharge covid duty in addition to the specialty specific duty," the plea had pointed out.
"The Respondent No. 1 (the NBE) conducted webinars as part of the teaching programme to enhance the knowledge and gain experiences but it failed to appreciate that even during conduct of webinars most of the doctors served their patients, both covid and specialty specific as enormous burden clocked on the healthcare system," the plea added.
Seeking to postpone the examination scheduled for December 2021, the plea had mentioned, "the Petitioners and several other DNB doctors were deprived acquiring skills and finding time for thesis and theory examination preparation. The extension in the schedule of examination as happened in the December 2020 and June 2021 batches, could afford an opportunity to the Petitioners and other DNB doctors, to acquire objective measures and train themselves properly for the examination. If such an extension is considered by this Hon'ble Court, no prejudice would be caused to the new batch getting admission based on NEET PG 2021 rank."
As per the latest media report by Live Law, during the hearing of the case on Tuesday, the counsel appearing for the petitioner doctors, Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde had submitted that all that the doctors were asking was some "breathing space" for the exam, as they have worked throughout the Pandemic.
"These are doctors who have served right through Covid. We are not asking for postponement of practicals. But to get to the practicals we have to go through a mountain of theory. What we need is a little breathing space. I am not speaking in terms of rights or wrongs", Hegde argued.
Responding to this, the bench comprising of Justice Chandrachud questioned, "How can we postpone exams? There would be thousands of other students who would have prepared."
Dismissing the petition, the bench was quoted observing by Live Law, "The 4 petitioners who are doctors have sought a rescheduling of the DNB/DrNB final theory examination which is scheduled for December 2021. The petitioners have also sought a direction to put on hold the examination schedule till post the MBBS and diploma candidates selected in Neet PG 2021 join their affiliated colleges. Postponement of their examination is entirely the function of an expert body which is entrusted with the duty of holding the examination. There are no extraordinary reasons for this court to breach the norm by entertaining this petition under article 32 of the Constitution. Dismissed".