NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider pleas for postponing the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-PG 2023, scheduled to be held on March 5.
A bench of Justices S Ravindra Bhat and Dipankar Datta took into account submission by Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati, who while appearing for the National Board of Examinations (NBE) said that there is no date available in the near future with the Centre’s technology partner to conduct the exam.
She also pointed out that admit cards have been issued as per schedule and the counselling may commence from July 15.
In its written response, the Centre said, “The schedule for holding NEET-PG 2023 on March 5, 2023 was notified on NBEMS website vide notice dated September 16, 2022, almost 6 months before the conduct of examination. The Examination is scheduled to be held in 277 cities at 902 test centres across the country”.
It also said 2,09,029 candidates have applied for the examination.
"Most of the candidates would have already arranged for their travel to test cities for March 5. Any postponement at this stage would bring unwanted inconvenience to all such candidates in the form of cancellation of their travel arrangement. The admit cards are scheduled to be issued i.e. on February 27, 2023,” it said.
It was also pointed out as many as 10 petitioners here had completed their internship last year or even before and cannot take a plea of lesser time to prepare.
“Further, except for three petitioners the rest had applied for NEET-PG in the original window opened in January itself. It is incorrect on their part to say that they came to know about their eligibility only on 07.02.2023. Only three petitioners have applied in the reopened window in February and are completing internships in July," the reply said.
The status report also said, “The counselling for the session 2023-24 will commence from 15th July, 2023. Therefore, approximately 98% of the participating doctors will finish their internship by the time the counselling for NEET-PG (2023-24) will begin from 15.07.2023. The remaining candidates who complete their internship after 15.07.2023 and are eligible to participate in the counselling process will be allowed provisionally to participate in the counselling and will be dealt on a case-to-case basis. They will be required to complete the PG tenure of 3 years and alternate/additional arrangement would be made to maintain the quality of medical education”.
The petitioners sought postponement of the examination, saying the counselling has to be conducted after August 11 since the cut-off date for internship has been extended to that date.