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The Supreme Court of India on Friday directed the All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) to postpone the INI CET 2021 exam by one month in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The examination was scheduled to be held on June 16. A division Bench of Justice Indira Banerjee and Justice MR Shah was hearing petitions challenging the conduct of the Institute of National Importance Combined Entrance Test (INI CET) examination. AIIMS will announce a fresh date for the examination in the due course.

AIIMS initially opposed postponing the examination arguing that it will create scarcity of doctors and an unprecedented situation, but later left it to the top court to take a final call.

The Court said that AIIMS’s decision to hold the examination on June 16 is arbitrary, without giving enough time for preparation.

“These doctors will be appearing in the exam and they do not have time for preparing it because of COVID duty. Why do not postpone the exam by a month,” the bench said.

AIIMS also told the Court that if the doctors face issues, they can appear in the next exam to be held in November.

“If you do not postpone, we will pass orders,” the top court said.

Soon after, the lawyer of AIIMS consulted the authorities and informed the Court that it is agreeable to defer the examination.

Supreme Court was hearing a PIL filed by a group of doctors for postponing the AIIMS entrance exam for PG medical courses (INI CET).

The petition sought directions to postpone the exam being conducted for admission to postgraduate courses in premier government medical institutes in India including AIIMS, Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) Puducherry, and National Institute of Mental Health and Neurosciences (NIMHANS) in Bengaluru.

The petition also pointed out the assurance given by the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) while postponing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam for postgraduate (NEET PG 2021) that students will be given at least one months’ time to prepare for the examination.

The INI-CET regulates admission to around 800 seats for which more than 80,000 candidates appear.

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