NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday directed the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the National Board of Examination (NBE) to make last-minute changes to the syllabus of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) PG Super Specialty Examination 2021. That doctors could not be left “at the mercy of insensitive bureaucrats” and were warned to impose austerity if no solution was found.

A bench of Justice DY Chandrachur and Justice VV Nagarathna questioned the NBE counsel in the wake of the notification, which was issued in the midst of ongoing preparation of students.

“Why was the notice issued? Students started preparing month after month for the super specialty course,” it said.


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“Need to make changes before the test? Why can’t you move on with changes from next year?”


“Doctors cannot be left at the mercy of insensitive bureaucrats,” the NBE and NMC have been asked to consult with the health ministry to resolve the issue.

Dissatisfied with the NBE’s lawyer’s response, the bench countered: “Don’t treat these young doctors as football in a game of power. Meet and fix your house.”

The bench told NMC’s ​​lawyer that it was working on the lives of the doctors and added that the notice was first issued and then the pattern was changed.

The changes submitted by the NBE’s attorneys have been under consideration for some time, and after receiving the necessary approvals, they were implemented and an attempt was made to file a reply.

Justice Chandrachud said: “It’s very important for their careers. I can’t change at the last minute.”

The bench warned that if the authorities failed to find a solution after the meeting, it would issue “austerity”. “If we do not agree with you, please be open to the harshness of the Supreme Court,” it said.

Setting the matter for further hearing next week, the bench further said that the authorities should treat young doctors with sensitivity. “You can’t handle their lives that way,” it said.

The apex court was hearing an appeal by Symbol Rastogi and 40 postgraduate qualified doctors, who suddenly challenged last-minute changes, claiming it was done on behalf of general medicine candidates.

Senior Advocate Shyam Devan, representing the petitioners, then argued that the notification of the examination to be held on November 13-14 this year was issued on July 23. Exam syllabus, which has put the candidates in extreme distress due to lack of time to prepare.

It was argued that according to the prevailing pattern, from 2018 to 2020, 60 per cent marks were allotted from questions in the super specialty, and 40 per cent were distributed for feeder course questions.

However, it was claimed that according to the proposed pattern, the complete questions for the critical care super specialty would be taken from the general medicine, which would leave the candidates of other branches in a tough spot. “There was no indication that there was going to be any change in the pattern,” Devon said.

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