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NEET-MDS Aspirants Seek Supreme Court Intervention Amidst Postponement Uncertainty

NEET-MDS Aspirants Seek Supreme Court Intervention Amidst Postponement Uncertainty


NEET-MDS aspirants are once again knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court, expressing concerns over the Union Government’s alleged indecision regarding the postponement of the NEET-MDS 2024 exam scheduled for March 18. The Union, as per a previous order on February 21, was expected to make a decision on the postponement of the exam and the extension of the internship completion cut-off date. In light of the perceived lack of action, the petitioners have filed a Miscellaneous Application (MA), urging the restoration of the writ petition that was disposed of by the Court on February 21 based on the Union’s assurances. The aspirants claim that the Union has not provided a final decision within a week of receiving representations from the students.

Scheduled Exam and Internship Deadline: NEET-MDS Aspirants’ Conundrum

The entrance test is slated to take place on March 18, with candidates deemed eligible only upon the completion of their internships on or before March 31. The petitioners’ counsel brought this pressing matter before Chief Justice of India (CJI) DY Chandrachud, who instructed them to send an email request. The CJI assured them that a date for listing the case would be promptly fixed.

Union’s Undertaking and the Ongoing Non-Compliance Dilemma

On February 21, the Union informed the Supreme Court that it was actively considering the grievances of NEET-MDS candidates concerning the extension of the internship deadline. The Court refrained from issuing an order on the plea to postpone NEET-MDS 2024, giving the Union a week to decide on the matter. However, the recent application highlights that the Union has not made a decision on the postponement despite the impending examination date. According to the application, the petitioners state, “However, despite the order and despite the examination date looming in, the respondents have not taken any decision in this regard till Date.” The application further notes, “A number of emails and representations were submitted to the respondents both through email and in physical form wherein the dental students have set out their grievances and reiterated their request to postpone the exam and increase the cutoff date. However, the respondents have not acted upon any such representations till date.”

Prayer for Intervention and Parity with NEET PG

Seeking the Court’s intervention for the restoration of the writ petition, the petitioners urge the Union to comply with the order dated February 21, 2024. Additionally, they request the Court to order the rescheduling of NEET-MDS 2024 exams, emphasizing parity with the common counseling for NEET PG and NEET MDS. The application also seeks an extension of the eligibility cut-off date, considering the delayed completion of internships by BDS students. The foundation for filing the current petition stems from the rescheduling of NEET PG 2024 by the National Board of Examinations (NBE), which shifted the exam from March 3rd to July 7th, 2024, with a cutoff date of August 15, 2024. In contrast, NEET MDS, notified on January 20, 2024, is scheduled for March 18th, 2024, with an internship completion cutoff date of March 31, 2024. The petitioners argue that the cutoff date is arbitrary and underscores the need for uniformity.

The Prayer of the Application Seeks the Following for NEET-MDS Aspirants:

A). Pass an order allowing the application for the restoration of the above-captioned writ petition and direct the respondents to comply with the order dated 21.02.2024 passed by this Hon’ble Court in the present writ petition.

B). Pass an order thereby directing the Respondents to reschedule NEET MDS 2024 in furtherance of the consistent practice and policy to conduct entrance exams and common counseling for NEET PG and NEET MDS, ensuring parity.

C). Pass an order thereby directing the Respondents to extend the last date of the cut-off for eligibility suitably:

  1. after ascertaining the internship completion date from universities offering MDS Course across India;
  2. in accordance with the existing policy to conduct entrance exams and common counseling for NEET PG and NEET MDS and/or;

Discrimination in Cut-off Date – Putting Lives of 8000 NEET-MDS Aspirants at Stake

The application underscores the discriminatory nature of fixing the eligibility cut-off date as March 31, 2024, highlighting that 40% of the 2018 BDS batch interns won’t complete their internships by then. The argument emphasizes the overlap in the UG course curriculum for BDS and MBBS students, both facing delays due to the COVID-19 period. The application stresses the need for a uniform approach, questioning the discrepancy in the cut-off dates for MBBS and BDS students. “Roughly 8000 students all across India including Kerala, Orissa, MP, UP, J&K, AP & Rajasthan will be excluded.” The application highlights the challenges NEET-MDS aspirants face and their plea for a fair and equitable resolution in light of the unique circumstances surrounding their internships and examinations. Both the BDS as well as the MBBS students went through the Covid period together and suffered the same delays in the holding of the yearly examinations and training. Therefore, it is discriminatory for the cutoff date to be pushed back from 31 March 2024 to 15th August 2024 for the 2018 batch of MBBS interns, and not for the BDS students. Counselling for the MBBS students and BDS students after the internship period is over has always been held at the same time.”




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