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The Centre on Monday informed the Supreme Court that it has decided that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) Super Speciality exam for 2021 can be deferred by a period of two months.

The Centre also told the top court that the test can be held on January 10-11, 2022.

Responding to a plea against the syllabus for the (NEET) PG Super Speciality exam 2021, the Centre said, “In terms of the revised scheme, the candidates are going to be tested/adjudged on the curriculum which they have already studied in their post-graduation course and have qualified for the final examination of their respective universities based on the same curriculum.”

“Therefore, the modified scheme has not mandated the applicant candidates to study something different from which they have not studied already,” said the Centre.

The matter is scheduled for hearing on Tuesday. The affidavit was filed by the National Board of Examinations.

Senior advocate Shyam Divan, representing the petitioners, had argued that notification for the examination, scheduled to be held on November 13-14 this year, was issued on July 23.

He added that, however, on August 31, another notification was issued changing the syllabus of the exam, which has put the candidates at a great disadvantage due to the paucity of time for preparations.

On September 27, the top court had pulled the National Medical Commission (NMC) and the National Board of Examinations (NBE) over last-minute changes to the syllabus for the (NEET) PG Super Speciality exam 2021.

The top court emphasised that doctors cannot be left at the mercy of insensitive bureaucrats and warned of issuing strictures if a solution is not found.

The bench had told the Centre’s counsel: “Don’t treat these young doctors as footballs in the game of power. Hold the meeting and put your house on order.”

The Centre’s affidavit was filed in response of a plea by Prateek Rastogi and 40 postgraduate qualified doctors, who challenged the abrupt last-minute changes, contending that they were made to favour general medicine candidates.

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