NEET 2021: A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the ‘abrupt last-minute changes’ announced by the National Board of Examinations (NBE) in the exam pattern of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Super Speciality (NEET-SS 2021). A group of 41 qualified post-graduate doctors who wants to become super-specialists by cracking the examination have filed the petition in the court, reported LIVE Law.Also Read - Ghar Wali Diwali: Amrapali Homebuyers to Get Possession of Their Flats on Nov 4 | Read Details

Filed through advocate Javedur Rahman, the petition said, “The dates of NEET SS 2021 was announced on July 23, 2021 but the changed pattern was made public more than a month thereafter on August 31, when only 2 months remained before NEET SS 2021 exams.” Also Read - '100 Protesters in Rally And Only 23 Eyewitnesses?' SC Raps UP Govt Over Farmers' Killing in Lakhimpur

Furthermore, the petitioners asserted that in 2018 and 2019 when there was a change in the exam pattern, students were notified almost 6 months prior to the NEET-SS exams, but in the notice dated July 23, 2021, there was absolutely no reference to the exam pattern/ scheme or any change. Also Read - NEET-PG Counselling 2021: Supreme Court Tells Centre to Put NEET-PG Counselling on Hold Until Decision on OBC, EWS Quota

As per the reports of LIVE Law, the doctors have argued that no provision under the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 empowers the National Medical Commission to stipulate/approve of the pattern/scheme of conducting the NEET-SS exam.

A division bench of Justices DY Chandrachud and BV Nagarathna would hear the matter on Monday, September 20.

This comes nearly a week after the Delhi High Court issued notice to the Central government on a petition filed by an overseas citizen of India (OCI) challenging a provision in the notification relating to eligibility criteria for NEET-SS 2021.

According to the petition, the petitioner, Dr Snigdha Kamini, an OCI cardholder, who has studied both for Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and Master of Surgery (MS) in India, is aggrieved by the addition of the words after “such other tests” in para (4)(ii) (including the proviso) in the notification dated March 4, 2021, issued by the Central government. Para 4 of the notification deals with non-resident Indians.

The petitioner, who is interested in pursuing super speciality studies (M Ch Course in Surgical Oncology) and has been working towards it for a few years, said that the impugned notification would virtually halt her career progression in India.

“Until last year, OCIs were eligible to appear for the super speciality entrance exams conducted by the respondent NBE,” the petitioner said.

“It is well-known that the path to becoming a specialist doctor is arduous and the petitioner cannot be expected to from the scratch. To deny even the eligibility to the Petitioner to write the 2021 National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Super Specialty (NEET-SS) examination is patently illegal. India is in dire need of healthcare professionals as evident during the COVID pandemic crisis and by the extremely poor doctor-patient ratio. The impugned notification would only demotivate healthcare professionals from staying back in India,” the petitioner said.

The Court had listed the matter for further hearing on September 23.