Port Blair, Feb 11: The Member of Parliament of Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Shri. Kuldeep Rai Sharma has requested the Hon'ble Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to the examination slots/ counts from 76 slots during NEET-PG, 2023 to a minimum of 250 slots for NEET - PG, 2024 entrance examination at Port Blair Centre, Andaman and Nicobar Islands so as to enable maximum aspiring MBBS doctors to appear in the NEET- PG entrance examination locally in the Islands.

In a letter addressed to the Hon'ble Cabinet Minister, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare the Member of Parliament mentioned that from the year 2021 onwards, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Post-Graduation(NEET -PG)  is being conducted at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands by National Board of Examinations under the aegis of Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India , for the MBBS students who wish to get admission to MD/MS/DNB post graduate and diploma medical courses in government and private colleges / institutions in India.

He added that to facilitate the first batch of MBBS doctors from the lone medical college of the Islands namely Andaman & Nicobar Islands Institute of Medical Sciences (ANIIMS) which happened in the year 2021, the NEET - PG examination centre at Port Blair was established. Since then the NEET-PG entrance examination is being conducted annually on a regular basis.

The Member of Parliament added that for the year 2023, the available candidate slots / counts at NEET-PG examination centre, Port Blair was 76, which fell quite short of the students aspiring to appear in entrance examination. The students who could not get the slot at NEET-PG centre at Port Blair had to appear in the examination centres at mainland India by incurring huge expenditure on journey, boarding and lodging besides consuming many days. Several aspirants due to weak economic conditions are unable to meet the expenses involved in appearing the NEET-PG entrance examination at centres located in mainland India.

He added that since the year 2021, two more batches of MBBS doctors have passed out from ANIIMS, Port Blair, hence the number of aspirants seeking admission to Post Graduate courses has gone three fold. The ANIIMS, Port Blair has got yearly intake strength of 114 students, therefore in last three years the cumulative strength MBBS doctors in the Islands who are intending to appear in the NEET- PG examination has increased three fold thereby taking figure upto approximately 200. Beside the pass out MBBS doctors from ANIIMS, there are appreciably large numbers of MBBS doctors serving at various far flung Islands as Medical Officers in the Primary Health Centers, Community Health Centers and District Hospitals of Health department on regular and contractual basis and also as Junior Resident doctors in ANIIMS who regularly appearing in the NEET - PG examination at examination centres in different States due to shortage of examination slots in the Port Blair Centre.

“Also there are MBBS qualified doctors having undergone their studies at the Medical Colleges in mainland India and abroad. Hence, all together the MBBS doctors in Andaman and Nicobar Islands aspiring to appear in the NEET- PG entrance examination has gone upto 250,” he added.

As regard to the infrastructure facilities required for conducting NEET -PG Online/ Computer Based Test (CBT) for around 250 candidates at Port Blair, the Member of Parliament mentioned that Computer based selection test / entrance examination of higher or similar magnitude are being conducted in Port Blair by various agencies such as Staff Selection Board etc. by pooling up of the facilities available with various government and private agencies at Port Blair.