Concerns over fairness as Health Ministry decides to conduct NEET-PG on 11 August in two shifts

The Union Health Ministry postponed the NEET-PG entrance examination on June 22, originally scheduled for June 23

BySumit Jha

Published Jul 05, 2024 | 4:03 PM Updated Jul 05, 2024 | 4:03 PM

NEET exam.

The National Board of Examinations in Medical Sciences (NBEMS) announced on Friday, 5 July, that the NEET-PG examination will be conducted on 11 August in two shifts.

The examination originally scheduled to be conducted on 23 June was postponed by the Union Health Ministry on 22 June, as a “precautionary measure” due to allegations concerning the integrity of certain competitive exams.

“In continuation of the NBEMS notice dated 22 June, 2024, the conduct of the NEET-PG 2024 examination has been rescheduled. It will now be conducted on 11 August in two shifts. The cut-off date for eligibility to appear in the NEET-PG 2024 shall continue to be 15 August, 2024,” the board stated.

“This decision has been taken as a precautionary measure to ensure the fairness and credibility of the NEET-PG Entrance Examination,” the Union Health Ministry had noted on 22 June.

Also Read: Successful NEET-UG candidates move SC for direction against any move to cancel exam

After cancellation scenario

The earlier decision to postpone the exam only 10 hours ahead of its scheduled time had left student bodies miffed.

Following the cancellation, NBE President Dr Abhijat Seth explained that the decision was made because the Ministry of Education wanted to verify the robustness of the exam process and ensure there were no vulnerabilities.

Dr Seth emphasised that the NBE, which has conducted NEET-PG for the past seven years, has not had any reports of paper leaks due to the board’s stringent standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Several meetings have since been held involving officials from the Union Health Ministry, NBEMS, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the National Medical Commission (NMC), and Cyber Cell officials to evaluate the system’s robustness for the exam’s conduct, sources said.

The Ministry of Health decided to undertake a thorough assessment of the NEET-PG entrance examination’s processes.

NEET-PG, conducted by NBEMS with TCS as its technical partner, assesses the eligibility of MBBS degree holders for enrolment in postgraduate medical courses in government and private medical colleges nationwide.

The announcement of the new exam date follows meetings between Union Home Ministry officials and the government’s anti-cybercrime body amid concerns about exam irregularities.

Also Read: Lost faith in NEET and we don’t need it: TVK leader Vijay

Concerns among aspirants

The multiple postponements and controversies surrounding NEET-PG have caused significant uncertainty and stress for candidates aspiring to postgraduate medical courses.

The delays in NEET-PG counselling and the ongoing uncertainties have negatively impacted India’s medical education system.

Even, the currently proposed two-shift examination is also not going well with many doctors.

“Absolutely appalled by the recent decision to conduct NEET PG in two shifts on 11th August. . How can we ensure fairness in ranking when the exam is split into different slots? Seems completely unfair for serious PG aspirants! The lack of clarity and foresight is unacceptable! Immediate action and clarification is needed to address this issue,” said one of the doctor.

(Edited by Muhammed Fazil)

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