After being pushed by the Supreme Court, the Centre on Wednesday told the top court that NEET-Super Speciality exam scheduled in November this year will be held as per the old question pattern.
Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, representing the Centre, submitted before a bench headed by Justice D.Y. Chandrachud that in the larger interest of students, the government has decided that the revised NEET-SS exam syllabus will be introduced from 2022 — the new question pattern will be applicable from next year.
The bench replied that the “government has been very fair”.
Bhati said the exam scheduled this year will be held as per the old pattern.
Advocate Prashant Bhushan, representing a petitioner, submitted that this should not in any way imply that the court is accepting the revised pattern exam for the next year.
The bench recorded that the Centre states that decision has been taken in consultation with the National Medical Commission (NMC) and National Board of Examinations (NBE) and taking note of students’ interest who would have commenced preparation for NEET-SS, before the change of pattern was notified.
The bench said the Centre has stated that the modified pattern will be in effect from academic year 2022-23. “Since the grievance addressed under Article 32, and in these circumstances petitions under Article 32 are disposed of”, said the bench.
On Tuesday, the Supreme Court pulling up the Centre on the changes in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test-Super Specialty (NEET-SS) 2021 pattern, said the impression and message which will go out is that the medical education and medical regulation in the country has become a business and it appears the entire haste is for filling the vacant seats.
On the aspect of syllabus change, the bench told the NBE counsel, “What was the hurry. You have an examination pattern which had been going on from 2018 to 2020.”
The top court said: “The impression we get is that the medical education has become a business and medical regulation has also become a business”.
The bench also comprising Justices Vikram Nath and B.V. Nagarathna said this would become a tragedy for the medical education in the country.
Defending the pattern change, the Centre had proposed deferring the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Super Speciality exam for 2021 by a period of two months.
The top court was hearing a plea by Prateek Rastogi and 40 postgraduate qualified doctors, who challenged the abrupt last-minute changes, contending that they were made to favour the general medicine candidates.