The Supreme Court today has postponed the INI CET Exam which was scheduled to be conducted by All India Institute of Medical Science (AIIMS) on 16th June, 2021 for at least one month.
Bench of Justice MR Shah and Justice Indira Banerjee while postponing the exam observed that, “Having regards to the difficulty & considering that many students who have to give the exam have been doing duty from various far away places & due to inadequate time for preparation, we are of the view that the date of June 16 is arbitrary.”
While directing for postponement, the Court has also granted AIIMS the liberty to decide any date for conducting the exam after one month.
The Court was hearing two pleas filed by Dr Poulami Mondal through Advocate Pallavi Pratap and by Indian Medical Students Network and 35 serving doctors filed through Advocate Tanvi Dubey and Advocate Charu Mathur.
Senior Advocate Sanjay Hegde represented Dr Poulami Mondal and Senior Advocate Arvind Datar appeared for Indian Medical Association Students Network.
Senior Advocate Arvind Datar submitted that the exams were announced on March 11 and were to be held on May 8 but then Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi held a meeting which stated that the doctors were under a mandate to report for 100 days of CoVID duty and assured for not conducting PG Exams before August 31, 2021.
“As per the decision NEET PG was postponed for 4 months. Medical personnel completing 100 days of CoVID duty would get PM National Samman. The rationale was 100 days of duty would expire in mid August. A month’s time for preparation would enable a large number of doctors to apply”, Senior Advocate Datar also submitted. He further suggested conducting the exam with NEET PG.
Opposing Advocate Datar’s submission, Senior Advocate Dushyant Parashar appearing for AIIMS while pressing for non postponement of INI CET 2021 submitted that since the exam is conducted twice an year, the MBBS doctors had an option of giving the November attempt.
It was also his contention that the brochure for the exam was uploaded in the month of March, 2021 and thereafter the doctors were aware of the same. Senior Advocate Parashar had also apprised the bench about the scarcity of doctors that the country would have to face in case of postponement.
“If we stay the exam, there would be scarcity of doctors. 1000 doctors have resigned. We would recruit them from these exams. If they have a problem, they can give the exam that takes place later in Nov during the year.”, Senior Advocate Parashar said.
The plea had argued that in the prevailing circumstances due to COVID-19, the conducting of this examination would result in building up pressure on the graduate doctors from across India to sit for the examination on 16th June, 2021, when under the present circumstances the Board examinations (Central Board of Secondary Education 10th and 12th Grade) and other professional examinations have been either cancelled or postponed.
The petitioners had averred that the preponement of the exam was in utter disregard to the assurance with respect to postponing PG Examinations, given by the Hon’ble Prime Minister’s Office while postponing the NEET- PG Examination, 2021 by four months.
The petitioners in their plea had also also submitted that the notification dated May 27, 2021 and the conduct of examination on June 16th 2021 is not in public interest in view of the present condition of the country and non-availability of doctors, beds in the hospitals coupled with the fact that there is a dearth of COVID-19 vaccination, many doctors have taken a job or duty in a State which is not their own, and also many of them were preparing for their PG examinations, however, when the assurance from the Prime Minister’s Office came, a lot of them took jobs/duties other than their own States and became.
Case Title: Dr. Poulami Mondal & Ors. v. All India Institute of Medical Sciences Through its Director & Ors.