'Not Footballs in a Power Game': Supreme Court Slams NEET Exam Changes

The Supreme Court questioned why these changes to the NEET exam could not be implemented next year rather than right away.

'Not Footballs in a Power Game': Supreme Court Slams NEET Exam Changes
'Not Footballs in a Power Game': Supreme Court Slams NEET Exam Changes

The Supreme Court today slammed the Centre for making last-minute modifications to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Post-Graduate Super Specialty (NEET SS) test pattern for 2021. It has requested that the government convene meetings of the relevant authorities and respond to a petition opposing the changes by October 4. 

The unexpected modifications were contested by 41 post-graduate doctors, who claimed that they were made to favour general medicine candidates.  In the 2018 NEET SS, general medicine accounted for 40% of the questions and super specialty accounted for 60%. However, this time, all queries must be related to general medicine. 

The dates for NEET-SS 2021 were announced on July 23, 2021, however, the pattern modification was announced more than a month later on August 31, "with only two months remained before the NEET-SS 2021 exams, to be held on the 13th and 14th of November 2021," according to the petition. 

Aspirants have been preparing for the older pattern for the past three years, according to the 41 physicians' petition, which was submitted by their lawyer Javedur Rahman. Today, a bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna questioned the government's haste in implementing the exam pattern change. 

"Don't approach these young physicians like football players in a power struggle... We can't leave these doctors in the hands of callous bureaucrats... Make a list of everything you need to do to get your house in order... You can't give up power just because someone else has it, in whatever way "According to Justice Chandrachud. 

The court inquired as to what the National Medical Commission was doing and reminded the administration that the problem touched the lives of doctors. "This is so important for their careers. Now you cannot introduce changes last minute...These young doctors might be put at ruse due to last-minute changes," Justice Nagarathna said.