The NEET-PG medical entrance exams - scheduled for Sunday - are postponed "in light of the surge in COVID-19 cases", Union Health Minister Dr Harsh Vardhan tweeted Thursday evening.Dr Vardhan said that a replacement date for the exam - which can decide the careers of an estimated 1.7 lakh medical aspirants - are going to be announced later.
"In light of the surge in COVID-19 cases, the govt of India has decided to postpone NEET-PG 2021 exam, which was earlier scheduled to be persisted April 18. Next date to be decided later" he said."Decision has been taken keeping well-being of our young medical students in mind."
News of the postponement came shortly after it emerged that a gaggle of student doctors had moved the Supreme Court posing for postponement of the exam.A bench headed by judge of India SA Bobde was set to listen to the matter tomorrow.The petitioners said forcing doctors, who treat COVID-19 patients on a day to day , to attend a physical exam would put thousands of lives in danger .
They also mentioned the centre's decision to cancel the CBSE Class 10 exams, and postpone the category 12 exams, that were scheduled to commence from May 4. Those exams were cancelled, and postponed, after an outcry by students, parents, doctors and opposition leaders.Over the past few weeks an identical outcry has been raised by NEET candidates, with "#postponeneetpg" trending online and a signature campaign found out online.
Earlier today DMK chief MK Stalin, whose party may be a vocal critic of the NEET system, also spoke out."With increasing cases and fatalities, and when our doctors are fighting hard against all odds, is that this the proper time to carry NEET for PG courses," Mr Stalin tweeted in Tamil.