Doctors pursuing postgraduate studies in medicine have approached the Supreme Court demanding the combined entrance exams to the Institutes of National Importance (INI CET) 2021 exams be postponed. Scheduled for June 16, MBBS trainees, many of them are frontline workers in COVID-19 affected wards complain they cannot be expected to write the exams which are being held at too short a notice. The All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) which conducts the national level INI CET exams declared the exam schedule on May 27. The doctors who were earlier promised INI CET would be held as late as August 31, are filing a public interest litigation with the Apex Court.
The INI CET are required for admissions to post-graduation courses across leading government medical institutions like AIIMS, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry and the National Institute of Mental Health and Neuro-Sciences (NIMHANS), Bengaluru. As many as 80,000 aspirants will be writing the entrance exams for admissions to the 800 post-graduation seats.
This year the INI CET, originally scheduled for May 8, was postponed in view of the second wave of the pandemic. Asking aspirants to assist with COVID related duties, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s office (PMO) (@PMOIndia) tweeted, “All such professionals who sign up for minimum 100 days of COVID duty and complete it successfully will be given the Prime Minister’s distinguished COVID National Service Samman from the Government of India.”
Now doctors who signed up for the COVID duty feel cheated. “The PMO promised us a month’s notice to prepare for the exams but the government has gone back on its word giving us hardly any time to prepare for such an important and career-defining exam. Those of us working in the COVID wards have 12-hour shifts per day with little time for anything else. We are all under tremendous stress since the announcement and request the authorities to postpone the exams,” says aspirant Dr Chinni Thilang.
Surprisingly, even as AIIMS announced a fresh date for the CET while continuing to ignore the plight of INI aspirants, it (AIIMS) has cancelled the entrance exams for the B.Sc Nursing and B.Sc paramedical courses which were to be held at a much later date (June 27) citing “the evolving situation due to COVID-19 outbreak”.
“Scores of students who had chosen their examination centres two months back have moved from their selected locations to join hospitals for COVID related work. Unfortunately, the government has no provision for students to change their examination centre. How will these students travel from one place to another given the travel restrictions due to extended lockdowns in many states? The government needs to take into account the work done by these students deployed for COVID related work. If aspirants to the National Eligibility-cum- Entrance Test (NEET PG) exams can be given relief in terms of postponement, why are the INI CET exam aspirants being treated differently?” asks Gaurav Tyagi, founder of educational consultancy firm, Career Expert.
Asking for a deferment of the entrance exam, INI CET aspirants have written to the AIIMS as well as taken to social media platforms to garner support for their demand. The ‘#postponeINICET2021’ has been trending on twitter since the announcement of June 16 as the CET date. The Federation of All India Medical Association has also reached out to the PMO on behalf of INI CET aspirants.
Also Read: NEET PG 2021: Uncertainties worry doctorsPosted in National, News