Postponement demands denied, Health News, ET HealthWorld

NEET PG 2023 exam dates confirmed: Postponement demands denied

By Harika Palabatla

Hyderabad: One month ahead of NEET PG 2023, several medical aspirants across the country are urging the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) to postpone NEET PG 2023 for six to eight weeks. Organisations like FAIMA (Federation of All India Medical Association) and UDFA (United Doctors’ Front Association) are in support of the medical students and have reached out to the Health Ministry to convey the same.

The National Board of Examinations (NBE) has announced that the NEET PG exam will be conducted on March 5, 2023, and the results would be out by March 31, 2023. The cut-off date for completing the mandatory medical internship has been extended to August 11, 2023. However, as the counselling for the NEET PG exam will be conducted post the internship, there will be a huge gap between the NEET PG exam and the counselling date. Medical experts and counsellors point out that this time would help candidates prepare better for their exams.

However, denying requests for the postponement of the NEET PG 2023 exam, Dr Mansukh Mandaviya today in the Lok Sabha informed, “The government has recently extended the internship cut-off date to August 11, 2023, so that no students across the country will be ineligible to appear for the exam. Secondly, students were informed about five months earlier that the NEET PG exam 2023 will be held on March 5.”

Dr Mandaviya further added that the decision to not postpone NEET PG 2023 has been taken to streamline the process to avoid further delay in the exam and counselling process caused due to COVID-19.

Experts’ view on the situation

Speaking to ETHealthworld Dr Sharad Kumar Agarwal, National President, Indian Medical Association said, “It is mental harassment for students preparing for the NEET PG exam. The exam should be followed by counselling. Not counselling post the exam or postponing the counselling for several months, then what is the point of taking the exam right now? Let us give time to the students. On one side we say there is a shortage of specialist doctors and another side we are not supporting them. IMA has also requested the ministry to call us for the discussion so we can clear the queries.”

Dr Agarwal further added, “The internship session of MBBS students is not regularised across India, if the session is regularised across India then there will be a fixed date for completion of the internship. Before completion of the internship, students cannot enter PG courses. So all private and government institutes should regularise their session and there should be a one day for the entire country, for all the students, and interns to complete their internship.”

Supporting Dr Agarwal’s statements, Dr Aviral Mathur, President, Federation of Resident Doctors Association (FORDA) said, “We are happy with the ministry’s decision to include the interns by extending dates. The internship completion date for the final year MBBS students is August 11, 2023, and the exam date of the NEET PG exam is March 5, 2023. There will be a gap of six months between the exam and the counselling date. So, If the NEET PG exam will be postponed to a later date, then this time will be helpful for medical aspirants to prepare well for the exam.”

Students plight

With rumours abounding of a possible postponement, students claim to be suffering from anxiety and stress regarding the lack of clarity on the exam date.

Aditya Jha, NEET PG aspirant commented, “Other than sitting idle, we cannot do anything in the time gap between the exam and counselling date. On top of that, the ongoing rumours about the NEET PG postponement are resulting in stress and anxiety at this already stressful time of preparing for the impending exam. The ministry should understand the dilemma of the students. Postponing the NEET PG exam for six to eight weeks will be extremely beneficial, but the decision should come as early as possible to alleviate us of this unnecessary stress.”

Another aspirant Rahul Patil, who is working hard for his second attempt at the NEET PG exam commented, “Next year, the exam will be changed to the NExT PG exam and the pattern will change, this is our last chance to qualify for this exam. So, we want extra time because we had only four-five months from the last examination and the last counselling. The last counselling was completed in January this year, It was a very short time for us to prepare for all the subjects of a five-year course which include almost 1821 subjects, it’s really difficult, and we need extra time to excel in this exam.”

As the ongoing uncertainty about the postponement of NEET PG is creating nervousness amongst the students, Dr Agarwal advised, “Medical aspirants should focus on their studies. They should forget about the exam when it will happen. Because there is no point in wasting their time on agitation. We at IMA are pursuing the ministry and I am 100 per cent sure that the ministry will take appropriate action and decisions in favour of the students. But the students should not waste their time. They should focus on their studies.”

Demands for postponement of the NEET PG exam has become a trend in the last few years. When analysed comprehensively, it can be seen that post-COVID, with the disruption of the academic cycle, similar demands for rescheduling NEET PG have been made in 2019, 2020, 2021,2022. Thus the postponement of the NEET PG exam is suspenseful even though NBE has confirmed March 5, 2023, for the NEET PG exam.

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