Syed Aziz Ahmed
Rama Krishna Sangem
Supreme Court has finally made it clear that NEET-PG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination for MD/MS/DNE) will be held on March 5, Sunday. Around 5,600 students from Telangana are appearing for this exam. Many may not know that the Telangana medical students are not writing this test just like that. There was a struggle by numerous parents who wanted to include their children in the NEET-PG-2023.
To know that, we need to know the background story. NBEMS (National Board of Examination in Medical Sciences) which conducts NEET-PG issued notification on January 6, 2023. The cut off date for internship completion for eligibility for NEET-PG 23 is mentioned as March 31, 2023. The exam date is however, March 5. So, thousands of medical grads from Telangana were left out of the eligibility criteria as per this notification. That was the problem.
Due to Covid problem, Telangana students couldn’t complete their internships on par with others in the country. Syed Aziz Ahmed, one of the many parents of NEET-PG candidates is the first to take up the issue with the authorities at the top level. Aziz wanted his daughter to appear for this exam and he didn’t want her to forego an academic year. He sensed as early as September 2022 that Telangana medical students may miss the eligibility criteria for NEET-PG-23.
“Exam date of March 5, 2023 was hinted as early as September 2022. As our students lagged behind in internships due to Covid problem, I guessed thousands of our students, including my daughter may miss the bus this time. My daughter (name withheld for ethical reasons) is a bright student and told me that she can wait, if the criteria was unfavorable. But, I was concerned about not just my daughter, but also thousands of other Telangana medical grads,” said Aziz.
Aziz told Excel India that he along with other parents associations had tweeted to Union Health Minister Mansukhbhai Mandviya, National Medical Commission and NBEMS explaining the circumstances under which students of Telangana may miss NEEt-PG this year. The problem was with some other states like Kerala, Delhi and Chhattisgarh too. This may cause loss of academic year to 13,000 students.
After around 50 tweets to the minister and other medical bodies at the national level, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, apparently at the behest of Minister Mansukhbhai Mandviya revised the cut off date for completion of intership first to June 30 and then to August 11, 2023. This is a big relief to Telangana and other states students who can now appear for the exam.
However, some parents of students still wanted to postpone the exam as there was no sufficient time for preparation. They first moved Telangana High Court and then twice moved the SC. On all the occasions, the courts refused to postpone the exam on the grounds that any postponing would cause inconvenience to 98 per cent students. Moreover, the Centre wants to commence the medical PG academic year from July this year.
“This is justified, and my wish is that our students from Telangna prepare well and write the exam well too,” said Aziz, a telecom and infrastructure entrepreneur from Hyderabad. In all 2.21 lakh students have applied for the NEET-PG and there are around 40,000 seats. From Telangana, around 5,600 candidates are appearing for around 1,500 PG seats. Good luck for them all!