The Supreme Court on Monday asked the National Medical Council and others to respond to a plea questioning last-minute changes in examinations pattern for the National Eligibility cum-Entrance Test 2021 for super speciality courses in medical colleges across the country.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna also issued notice to the National Board of Examination, by agreeing to examine on September 27 the petition filed by Prateek Rastogi and other 40 Post Graduate qualified doctors.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners, submitted that the notification for the examination, scheduled to be held on November 13-14 this year, was issued on July 23, 2021. However, on August 31, 2021, another notification was issued changing the pattern of the exam, putting the candidates at a great disadvantage due to lack of time for preparations.
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Maintaining that the rules of the game cannot be changed after it has begun, the counsel said as per the prevailing pattern from 2018 to 2020, 60 per cent marks were allotted from questions in the super speciality section, while 40 per cent were distributed for questions from feeder were distributed for questions from feeder courses.
However, as per the proposed pattern, the entirety of questions for the critical care super speciality will be drawn from general medicines, leaving the candidates from other disciplines in a difficult situation.
Terming the decision as manifestly arbitrary, the petition contended the National Board of Examination and the National Medical Council have given a complete go-by to the specific directions of the central government to notify the students well in advance on change in the pattern of examinations.