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NEET-SS 2021 Revised Pattern Gives More Flexibility; Exams Be Deferred To January 2022 To Help Students : NBE Tells Supreme Court

LIVELAW NEWS NETWORK
4 Oct 2021 6:49 AM GMT
NEET-SS 2021 Revised Pattern Gives More Flexibility; Exams Be Deferred To January 2022 To Help Students : NBE Tells Supreme Court
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The National Board of Examination has told the Supreme Court that the exam pattern of the NEET-Super Specialty Exams 2021 was changed to bring more flexibility for the students and to ensure that they are tested on the basis of the courses which they already know. The revised pattern will also ensure that the Super Specialty seats will not go vacant, the NBE has told the Supreme Court.To give...

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The National Board of Examination has told the Supreme Court that the exam pattern of the NEET-Super Specialty Exams 2021 was changed to bring more flexibility for the students and to ensure that they are tested on the basis of the courses which they already know.

The revised pattern will also ensure that the Super Specialty seats will not go vacant, the NBE has told the Supreme Court.

To give the PG doctors more time to prepare in accordance with the revised pattern, the NBE has proposed to defer the exams by two months, and has sought the permission of the Supreme Court to hold them on January 10-11, 2022, instead of November 13/14 as originally scheduled.

The affidavit has been filed in response to petitions filed by PG doctors challenging the "last-minute" and "arbitrary" changes to the exam pattern brought by the NBE for the NEET-SS 2021 pattern, after the exam dates were notified.

Last week, a bench led by Justice Chandrahcud had wondered how the exam syllabus could be changed after the dates were notified and commented that the authorities cannot treat "young doctors like footballs".

"Why has the notice been issued? Students start preparing for super specialty courses months & months in advance. Why is the need to change the same last minute before the exam? Why can you not proceed with the changes from the following year?", Justice Chandrachud had asked.

As per the prevailing pattern which has been in existence from 2018 to 2020, 60% marks were allotted from questions in the super specialty while 40% distributed for questions from feeder courses. However, as per the proposed pattern, the entirety of questions for the critical care super specialty will be drawn from general medicines.

Explaining the rationale behind this revision, the NBE has stated in its affidavit :

"It is respectfully submitted that in terms of the revised scheme, the candidates are going to be tested / adjudged on the curriculum which they have already studied in their post-graduation course and have qualified the final examinations of their respective universities based on the same curriculum. Therefore, the modified scheme has not mandated the applicant candidates to study something different from which they have not studied already".

"...the earlier scheme / pattern required the candidates to appear in a question paper which would consist of 60% questions from the super specialty chosen by the candidate. The contradiction was that the candidates were being examined in the super specialty subject which they would otherwise be studying after qualifying the NEET-SS. This pattern made the candidates divert their focus from their post graduate studies and to start preparing for super specialty subjects while and at cost of undergoing their PG training".

The NBE has further stated that due to the previous scheme, many "precious Super Specialty" seats were lying vacant, as most of the questions were from the Super Specialty course the students had opted.

There are more than 45 super specialty subjects. Any given broad specialty is an eligible feeder specialty to multiple super specialties. Thus, a candidate pursuing a broad specialty must be given the choice of the multiple super specialty courses for which his / her broad specialty is a feeder category. The previous scheme /pattern, inadvertently, omitted to provide such a flexibility.

Given this restrictive scheme of admissions and the consequent rush for only certain sought after seats, there are a large number of seats that go waste every year even though the number of candidates far outweigh the number of seats available. The NBE submitted that a number of prestigious DM, MCh and DrNB  superspecialty schemes have been falling vacant. In NEET-SS 2020, a total of 483 DM & MCh seats could not be filled after all rounds of counseling and a total of 321 DrNB Superspecialty seats remained vacant even after the final Mop Up round of counseling. All these seats got wasted for the academic year 2020-21

"By the revised scheme it has been ensured that candidates are given the option of the full range of choices that are available as the eligible superspecialties in respect of the broad specialty that the candidate concerned has pursued for the past three years before taking his NEET-SS. It has also been ensured that the candidate is tested in the subject that he / she has studied and trained in and not in the super specialty that he / she ultimately wants to pursue. In other words, the NEET-SS in the revised scheme seeks to assess the candidate's competence in his / her broad specialty and not in a super specialty that he/ she, as yet has no training whatsoever in".

A bench comprising Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna will consider the case today afternoon.


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