The Supreme Court of India is expected to announce the final verdict today about its recent suggestion of offering grace marks to NEET-PG 2021 students. Additionally, the top court had also suggested / talked on the suggestion on incentivizing final year MBBS students occupied in COVID duty with marks rather than money. A final call regarding this shall be taken by the court today, May 13, 2021. However, the last update on the matter showed that there is higher inclination towards not going ahead with the proposal of giving grace marks in PG NEET against duty.
This year, approximately 1.5 lakh doctors had registered for the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) PG examination. Initially, the examination had been scheduled on April 18, 2021. However, to the dismay of candidates, the exam shall now be conducted after August 31, 2021 once the COVID-19 pandemic subsides in the country.
SC on Thursday, May 06, 2021, suggested offering grace marks to candidates with the intention of encouraging more doctors to join the fight against COVID-19. The court stated that by incentivising the exam, more people shall willingly join the cause. This bench comprised of Justices DY Chandrachud and MR Shah. They were considering the Special Leave Petition (SLP) filed by the centre against the Delhi HC’s contempt notice of failing to provide 700 MT of oxygen to the national capital.
According to Justice Chandrachud, there are 1.5 lakh doctors in the country who have completed their MBBS course and internship. They are ardently waiting for NEET PG 2021 to be conducted. Additionally, there are about 2.5 lakh fully trained nurses in the country. All these members can be included in the COVID-19 workforce.
But they must be adequately incentivised rather than providing them a mere Rs.15,000-20,000. This way, COVID service shall fail to attract this manpower and worsen the country’s healthcare conditions during the third wave. Centre has instructed state and UT governments to request NEET PG students to join the COVID-19 frontline. However, to achieve this, grace marks can be offered as incentives to students who join the workforce, SG Mehta stated in his note.
In the previous hearing, justice Chandrachud commented that incentives shall play a key role in encouraging the NEET PG aspirants. Rather than money, grace marks seem like the most useful incentive. If not implemented, aspirants won’t be willing to join the force on their own accord. Reply to this, SG Mehta assured the top court that the suggestions shall be conveyed to the centre. SC is expected to announce the final verdict on this matter soon.
The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had earlier announced that the doctors and medical professionals who have completed 100 days of COVID duty shall be given priority in the upcoming government recruitments. Furthermore, medical interns are to be deployed to various locations for managing the COVID-19 crisis under their faculty’s guidance. Also, final-year MBBS students shall be used for telephonic consultation and supervising mild COVID cases under their supervision of their superiors.
Ever since the previous hearing, doctors, and medical aspirants across the nation have shared their disdain over suggestion of grace marks in NEET PG as an incentive. They do, however appreciate the idea of incentives against this life-risking journey they have undertaken. One tweet captures their suggestion well.
Here’s looking forward to a fair decision, that would aptly justify the selfless service of the doctors, nurses, and frontline workers, and also not compromise on the future of this service by compromising on merit.