Updated: January 19, 2022 10:16:31 am
The counselling for NEET-PG 2021 was delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic and court hearings over the OBC and EWS quota issue and will end on March 16. According to the schedule for NEET PG 2022 released recently, the registrations will be open till February 4 and the exam will be held on March 12.
Also, the introduction of Other Backward Class (OBC) and Economically Weaker Section (EWS) quotas in all India seats are said to have reduced the seats for unreserved category students and thousands of interns, who will not be able to complete their internship before May 2022, have become ineligible to appear for this year’s exam.
One such aspirant, who completed her MBBS degree in May last year and appeared for the NEET PG 2021 after completing the mandatory internship, is now unsure of securing a seat this year. She got ranked under 4000 in the unreserved category.
“The OBC and EWS quotas have been introduced from this year onwards, which has reduced the number of seats by 37 per cent. Until last year, under-4000 rank would guarantee a seat in the desired college but now the chances are bleak. I am unable to decide whether I should sit for all rounds of 2021 counselling or appear for the 2022 exam,” the 24-year old, who did not wish to be named, said.
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“If I accept an allotted seat this year in an undesired college and score well in PG 2022 exam, I will not be able to withdraw the deposited fee of around Rs 25,000 and will end up losing a considerable sum of money,” she added.
Dr Chinmayee Gowda, NEET-PG 2021 qualifier and the women wing in-charge of the Federation of All India Medical Association, said the career of more than 8,000 medical interns is at stake as they are not eligible to appear for the exam this year.
“The eligibility criterion for NEET-PG 2022 requires the applicants to complete 10 months of the mandatory internship by May 2021, but thousands of interns across the country could not start their internships amid the pandemic as the final exams were delayed. Either the exam should be postponed by a few months or the eligibility must be relaxed,” Dr Gowda told indianexpress.com.
Meanwhile, multiple associations have formally written to the Indian Medical Association (IMA) and the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBEMS) to defer the PG entrance exam.
“As per the survey carried out across India to gather information about the completion date of the internship, there are 8032 interns’ of 10 states of India, including interns of North Gujarat University who will not be eligible as per this for NEET PG 2022 as their internship will complete after June 30, 2022,” Gujarat Intern Doctors’ Association wrote in its letter to the National Medical Commission (NMC) on January 12.
Md Arif Waquar began his internship late due to covid and is one of the ineligible interns. “My internship will get over in late October 2022, making me ineligible for NEET-PG 2022. It is really demotivating to not appear for an exam due to the sheer inconsideration of the authorities. From 2023 onwards, the PG entrance exam will transform into the National Exit Test (NEXT) with a different pattern which has not been released yet, which further adds to my anxiety,” said the 23-year from Bihar, who is pursuing MBBS from the Jawahar Lal Nehru Medical College in Bhagalpur.
The Indian Medical Association Junior Doctors Network (IMA-JDN)—Maharashtra Chapter—said in a statement a six-month gap between two batches to “ensure efficient resident doctors”. “NEET-PG is being conducted in March 2022 to increase the workforce for covid but with no even six months gap in the admissions from two different exams, it will lead to chaos and improper functioning of the colleges and hospitals,” said IMA-JDN in the January 16 statement.
Dr Indranil Deshmukh, the state convener of IMA-JDN, told indianexpress.com that the exams must be postponed to “protect the mental health of the junior doctors as they have been tirelessly involved in the covid duty”.
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