- NEET PG 2022 is supposed to be conducted within a week, but students are asking for more time
- As it turned out the counselling for the previous session is not finished due to which students could not get time to prepare
- It is an imminent risk that the student of the 2021 and 2022 batch might end up sitting together in the same classroom, reading the same subject matter
MBBS graduates are angry. They are running from pillar to post for a certain degree of respite from the system. Up until now, only the Indian Medical Association (IMA) has come forward and has provided them with unequivocal support.
MBBS pass outs have barely 9 days to prepare for Post Graduate (PG)entrance of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). And, they do not want to appear for the examination at the current juncture of time. They are asking for more time from the government as their preparation is not in place. So, the obvious question is why did they miss the mark? Is the government to be blamed for it? Or the Supreme Court? Maybe the students themselves failed to do their due diligence or the conducting authority may be at fault. A deeper analysis will present a better picture.
What is the core issue?
According to the students who are demanding that NEET-PG be postponed, they have very little time to prepare for their entrance examinations. According to a report by Indian Express, students have claimed that if they are given six to ten more weeks for their preparation, then it would be enough for them.
Why do students need more time?
Apparently, a lot of students are still engaged in the counselling procedure of the previous year’s NEET PG. Believe it or not, the authorities have not been able to finish the complete procedure of NEET-PG 2021. As a result of which, those who qualified for NEET-PG 2021 are still awaiting their allotments and do not know what to do now. If they keep preparing, their practice takes a hit. If they do not prepare, then their future is in danger since if they fail to secure a seat this year, one year will be too big of a loss.
Why was the counselling of NEET-PG 2021 delayed?
The credit partly goes to Covid, partly to students and partly to the administration. Generally, the entrance test of a particular Gregorian year is conducted in the first month of that year itself. But, in 2021, multiple rounds of Covid waves forced the postponement of the examination and finally the examination was held five months after the normal stipulated time. So, the examinations for the seats which were supposed to be filled by the middle of the year were not even conducted after nearly half of the year had passed.
For any session to start in a timely manner, it is important that counselling and filling of seats be concluded on time. In this particular scenario, it was more urgent to fill these seats, since the session was already getting delayed. But the Indian set-up rarely delivers as expected.
A fresh wave of petitions about the examination process hit the Courts, hampering the already delayed counselling schedules. These petitions challenged the July 29 notification of the counselling committee. The notification made way for 37 per cent reservation in seats to be filled. 27 per cent was reserved for Other Backward Classes (OBC) while 10 per cent was reserved for Economically weaker sections (EWS).
The petitions against the reservation forced counselling to be delayed by several months. Finally, on 7th January 2022, the Supreme Court stepped in with a crucial decision for medical professionals. The Court sustained the reservation of 10 per cent Economically Weaker Section (EWS) and 27 per cent Other Backward Classes (OBC) and showed a green flag to NEET PG admissions for the academic year 2021.
So, the counselling must have been finished?
That is of course a natural expectation. But there are multitudes of minute steps involved in the completion of processes. Firstly, a third wave hit the Indian shores which resulted in further delaying the process. Then when the process finally kicked off, another controversy angered the students. As it turned out, anomalies arose by the addition of 146 seats to the Mop-up round.
The Mop-Up round is the process of counselling of seat allotment in medical colleges by states against the reverted seats from All India 15% quota. Candidates who are qualified but do not get any seats in round 1 and round 2 are automatically eligible for the Mop Up round. The anomaly arose because students contended that they were not offered 146 seats (up for grabs in the mop-up round) in Round 1 and Round 2.
The students again turned to the Supreme Court for justice and on March 31, this year it ordered a fresh round of counselling for the aforementioned number of seats in the mop-up round.
Fine, but will students get their due time for preparation?
Maybe yes, maybe not. One thing is for certain, students have full support from the Indian Medical Association (IMA). It has written an open letter to Health Minister Mansukh Mandviya, asking for more time.
“Since the NEET PG 2022 examination date is 21st May 2022, we request your timely intervention and urgent consideration of postponement of the NEET PG 2022 for a reasonable period of time, so that, the current NEET PG 2021 aspirants have adequate time to prepare and appear for the upcoming NEET PG 2022 examination and the eligibility of all interns is also ensured. We are sure that the issue shall be dealt with urgency by granting the prayer as made herein above in larger academic and societal interest as a whole” said the letter.
— Indian Medical Association (@IMAIndiaOrg) May 12, 2022
Meanwhile, IMA has not been able to take many stakeholders on board. Only seven states are in favour of delaying NEET PG 2022. IMA president Dr Sahajanand Prasad Singh said, “We met Union Health Minister and discussed with him the postponement of NEET PG 2022. He said only seven states want to postpone and we are looking into it,”. But the final decision lies with the Health Ministry.
Whatever be the result, one thing is certain. Even if everything is in place, there is a high possibility that the first-year students of NEET-PG 2021 might end up sitting with the first-year students of NEET PG 2022, but their certification will show that they passed in different years.