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NEET PG 2022: With no date in sight, aspirants raise concerns over delay in counselling

NEET PG aspirants had in May requested authorities to defer the NEET PG 2022 exam by 40 days, saying that it was clashing with the ongoing counselling for NEET PG 2021.

NEET PG 2022, NEET PG 2022 counsellingNEET PG 2022: Official sources say that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Postgraduate) counselling will begin on September 1. (Representative image. Source: Pixabay)

NEET PG aspirants are questioning authorities over their decision to not defer the exam for admission to post-graduate courses in medical colleges across the country amid reports about a delay in the counselling process.

Official sources inform that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Postgraduate) counselling will begin on September 1, nearly three months after NEET was conducted.

In May, several NEET PG aspirants had requested authorities to defer the NEET PG 2022 exam by 40 days, saying that it was clashing with the ongoing counselling for NEET PG 2021. The aspirants had even written to the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) seeking an appointment to share their concerns and organised protests in New Delhi, Hyderabad, and a few other cities. The aspirants had also gained support from a few political leaders and even several medical groups such as FAIMA.

Doctors who appeared in NEET PG 2021 exams and also participated in the counselling process for 2021-2022 filed petitions seeking a postponement of the test but they were dismissed by a Supreme Court bench. The bench said their request cannot be entertained because it would affect patient care and doctors’ careers and “create chaos and uncertainty and deficiency of doctors in hospitals”.

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NEET PG aspirants came together in May to demand postponement of the exam. (Express photo)

Students are now taking over social media to question the National Board of Examinations over the delay in counselling.

“They said that postponing the exam would create chaos, they wanted to bring things on track asap, there would be a shortage of doctors in hospitals, etc. If the above were the actual reasons, they would have concluded the counselling till now,” said Dr Ankit from Lucknow, who is appearing for his third attempt this year.

“The main problem is that since our Minister of Health does not have a medical background, he does not understand our problems. He doesn’t realise how much it takes to prepare for these exams, the time, money, health, resources we give for these exams is something that an outsider would not understand,” alleged Dr Kajal Dande.

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Some aspirants said they are also worried that the NBE may delay the counselling again, and the aspirants will be left with little time to conclude their counselling and start preparing for the next exam.

“NEET 2021 counselling was also delayed like this, and there was no gap for preparing for NEET PG 2022. The same scenario is happening right now because the counselling process usually takes two-three months, and till now there hasn’t been any official announcement but the sources of the ministry have claimed that it will begin in September and get over by November. So, we usually used to have NEET PG examination in January, so obviously this will not be possible because of the delayed counselling,” Dr Rohan Krishnan, President of FAIMA Doctors Association, told indianexpress.com, adding that students “now feel cheated”.

Asked if the aspirants would once again approach a court, Dr R Dinesh Kumar Reddy who had written to the PMO in May, said, “There is nothing that can be done now because the exam has been concluded. But, now, we cannot go to court because it does cost money and resources, and we as students have lost that now, we have given up. It will be like a vicious circle.”

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Aspirants are also worried about the proposal of replacing NEET PG with NEXT (National Exit Test) from January 2023. While students say they are comfortable with NEET as well as NEXT, they fear that the NBE may suddenly decide to conduct NEXT in January, instead of NEET, but not give them clarifications at the right time. “I am comfortable with both, i.e. NEET PG and NEXT, provided that we are informed beforehand so that we can orient ourselves according to the pattern of test that we are supposed to take,” said Dr Ankit.

“This National Exit Test cannot be done without prior information. They (aspirants) need at least six months (to prepare)… with some mock tests which students can use to understand what will be the pattern of the new examination. Otherwise, we are just running in the dark and that is not going to take us anywhere. We will be writing a letter to the Ministry about this also, that they have to come up with a roadmap,” said Dr Rohan Krishnan.

The Indian Express reached out to the National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences, but received no response.

First published on: 28-07-2022 at 11:17:10 am
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