‘I prepared for a year’: NEET PG aspirants mentally agonised

The test was initially scheduled for March 3. It was rescheduled to July 7, but later advanced to June 23, only to be cancelled less than 12 hours before it was to commence.
‘I prepared for a year’: NEET PG aspirants mentally agonised
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After the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare cancelled the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for Post Graduation (PG) less than 12 hours before the exam was set to commence, aspirants expressed discontent. NEET PG was initially set to take place on March 3, 2024. It was postponed tentatively to July 7 and later rescheduled for Sunday, June 23. However, on Saturday June 22, the test was cancelled as a ‘precautionary’ measure.

TNM spoke to aspirants who mentioned an array of issues, such as the last minute rescheduling causing severe mental agony, to a probable increase in the competition for the same number of PG seats.

Hari Krishnan, an aspirant, told TNM, “They have postponed and advanced the exam about three times now and they seem to have no regard for the mental health of doctors. Most doctors prepare for this exam by taking a break year to study. We prepared without going to work and many of us were attending coaching classes.” 

Sylesh (name changed) who expressed similar sentiments, added, “It is very frustrating. After studying for five years, we had to take a break year and continue to study all the subjects again to give NEET PG. Psychologically, given the negative marking and the intense competition, the stress and anxiety levels in us have peaked. We are burned out and beyond the point of exhaustion.” 

Merlin (name changed), an aspirant from Kerala, said that her batchmates were assigned examination centres in districts that were far away from their home town and that some of them had to travel to different states to write the test. “One of my friends from Kerala went to Mumbai to appear for the test. Upon reaching Mumbai, my friend found out that the exam had been cancelled and had to return. Another friend had to travel to Andhra Pradesh. It is an additional financial burden on the students since many who enrolled late didn’t get allotted a centre close to their home,” she added.

Merlin pointed out that the postponement of the examination is a disadvantage to the students who graduated in March 2023 and took a break year to study, since the batch of 2024 is now getting additional time to prepare and write the upcoming NEET PG. “As such, 2024 batch’s internships culminated in March this year and they have had some three months to prepare. By postponing the test, they get more time. So, double the number of students might now be competing for the limited PG seats in each state,” she said. While students with good ranks may get PG seats, they might not get a seat in the subject that they might be aiming for, Merlin said.

A fresh schedule for the examination is awaited.

It may be noted that amid the NEET-UG controversy and the cancellation of University Grants Commission- National Eligibility Test (UGC-NET) the Union government on Saturday, June 22, sacked National Testing Agency (NTA)'s Director General Subodh Kumar Singh and ordered a CBI investigation into the alleged irregularities in NEET-UG 2024. 

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