Supreme Court issues notice on Plea challenging NEET SS 2022 Exam Pattern
New Delhi: While considering the plea challenging the present NEET-SS 2022 pattern, the Supreme Court has recently issued notice to the National Board of Examinations (NBE) and other concerned authorities.The bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha issued notice in the matter after taking note of the contention of the aspirants belonging to MD Radiation Oncology...
New Delhi: While considering the plea challenging the present NEET-SS 2022 pattern, the Supreme Court has recently issued notice to the National Board of Examinations (NBE) and other concerned authorities.
The bench comprising of Justices DY Chandrachud and PS Narasimha issued notice in the matter after taking note of the contention of the aspirants belonging to MD Radiation Oncology and MD Anaesthesiology that they were excluded even though the neck is wider now.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that challenging the changed exam pattern of NEET-SS 2022 examination, the aspirants of the entrance test, belonging to MD Radiation Oncology and MD Anaesthesiology, had approached the Supreme Court.
The grievance of the petitioner doctors are against the new pattern for the NEET SS examination that consists of 150 questions from the general/basic component of the primary feeder broad specialty subject and from all sub- specialty/systems/component of that primary feeder broad specialty subject. Besides, the petitioners are also upset by National Medical Commission's draft Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2021, which proposes deletion of MD radiation oncology/radiotherapy as an eligible feeder specialty qualification for the super specialty course of DM Medical Oncology.
They have sought directions from the top court for restraining NBE not to exclude MD Radiation Oncology/ MD Radiotherapy from the eligible feeder specialties for the Super Specialty courses of DM Medical Oncology for NEET SS 2022.
Apart from seeking directions upon the National Board of Examinations (NBE), the petitioner doctors have also sought directions to restore the scheme/pattern of the exam.
Last year the Central Government had introduced last minute changes in the NEET SS 2021 exam pattern and challenging the same doctors had approached the Supreme Court. The counsel appearing for the petitioner doctors had argued that the last-minute changes in the exam pattern put the students from disciplines other than general medicine at a disadvantageous position. In the previous pattern, 60 per cent marks were allotted to questions in the super-specialty while 40 per cent from feeder courses. However, as per the changed pattern, the entirety of the questions for the critical care super specialty would be drawn from general medicines.
At that time, the top court had slammed the authorities for the last-minute changes and ultimately the Government had decided to introduce the changes from the next year onwards.
However, this year, the doctors belonging to MD Radiation Oncology and MD Anaesthesiology have approached the top court again challenging the exam pattern of NEET SS 2022.
The doctors stated in their petition, "There will be no questions from broad specialties of the other four post-graduate branches. The pattern is not just a waste of time and effort for all those who have prepared for Critical Care but also grossly biased against few broad specialties, particularly in favour of MD Medicine in so far as the choice of options is far greater vis-a-vis the choices available to either MD Radiation Oncology or MD Anaesthesia. The new examination scheme is making some candidates write a paper which has no questions from their postgraduate broad speciality and they will have to compete with candidates who have 100% questions from their postgraduate syllabus/ broad speciality."
"Having a uniform qualifying percentile when the question paper is identical for every candidate is perfectly logical, but to do so when the question papers admittedly differ across groups, yet conferring an undue comparative advantage upon some of them as delineated above, is patently unfair. To have the same qualifying percentile for a candidate of MD (General Medicine) and MD (Anaesthesia) towards admission in DM Critical Care or for a candidate of MD (General Medicine) and MD (Radiation Oncology) towards admission in DM (Oncology) would be the definition of perversity and violation of the guarantee against non-arbitrariness protected under Article 14 of the Constitution of India," the plea further added.
As per the latest media report by Live Law, during the hearing of the case last week, the counsel for the doctors, Senior Advocate Shyam Divan referred to one of the orders passed in respect of a petition that had challenged the changed exam pattern. In that plea, he had referred to the difference between the old and the new exam patterns submitting that the new pattern would prove to be disadvantageous for students belonging to specialties other than General Medicine.
Referring to this, the counsel pointed out how the changed pattern affects the prospects of MD Radiation Oncologists and MD Anaesthiologists, who are willing to complete their super specialization in DM Medical Oncology and DM Critical care.
Responding to the submissions made by the counsel, the top court bench remarked, "You are concerned about the area of SS of oncology. Earlier it was provided that the ones who had MD could apply and now the neck is wider."
At this outset, the counsel for the doctors submitted, "The neck is wider but I'm excluded."
He also pointed out to the bench that the petitioner doctors have made representations to the concerned authorities regarding the National Medical Commission's draft Postgraduate Medical Education Regulations, 2021 that proposes to delete MD radiation oncology/radiotherapy as an eligible feeder specialty qualification for the super specialty course of DM Medical Oncology.
Mentioning that they have not got any response, the counsel submitted, "Now we wrote to them 10 letters, but they haven't responded to the representation. They must confirm that is open to me."
Agreeing to issue notice in the matter, the bench noted, "We'll give you the liberty to come once they finalize. Mr Divan, we'll issue notice in the matter."
The matter has been adjourned till May 27, 2022.
To read the court order, click on the link below.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.