New Delhi, Sep 20: The Supreme Court Monday agreed to hear a plea challenging the alleged "last-minute" changes made to the examination pattern for the upcoming National Eligibility cum Entrance Test - Super Specialization (NEET-SS) 2021 which is scheduled in November.
A bench of Justices D Y Chandrachud and B V Nagarathna issued notice and sought responses from the Centre, National Board of Examinations (NBE) and National Medical Commission (NMC) on the plea filed by 41 post-graduate doctors.
The apex court, which posted the matter for further hearing on September 27, also permitted the petitioners to file brief note of their written submissions.
The petitioners, who are qualified post-graduate doctors from across the country and are aspiring to become super specialists by cracking the NEET-SS 2021, have said the dates for the examination was announced on July 23 but the changed pattern was made public on August 31.
Senior advocate Shyam Divan, appearing for the petitioners, said the NEET-SS 2021 exams are scheduled on November 13-14 and it is fairly settled principle including in educational matter that once the calendar is announced, there is no question of then altering the scheme.
The plea, filed through advocate Javedur Rahman, has sought quashing of the scheme of NEET-SS 2021 contained in the August 31 information bulletin, as notified by the NBE and approved by the NMC, alleging it to be "illegal" having been carried out without any authority of law.
"As per the existing/earlier pattern 40 marks use to be come from the base subject and 60 marks were in respect of the two optional courses opted by the aspirant. This was very important since the candidate themselves would choose the fields of their interest and not only obtain theoretical knowledge of it but will be engaged in acquiring practical knowledge of the same," it said.
The plea claimed that the information bulletin has "completely transformed" the entrance examination and the NBE has stated that the exam would be of the "level of exit exam of post-graduation".
"Thus, post-graduates from different broad specialities can appear for a single super-speciality exam," it said.
The plea said the erstwhile pattern had a paper with 60 per cent questions from critical care, that is the super-specialty subject, and 40 per cent were mixed questions from all the five broad specialties, including General Medicine and Anaesthesiology, ensuring a "level-playing field".