Tamil Nadu: Candidates anxious over delay in results of MRB assistant surgeons exam
The Tamil Nadu Medical Services Recruitment Board (MRB), which was postponed for three years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, conducted the examination to hire assistant surgeons in government hospitals on April 25 this year. However, the results are yet to be announced, leaving thousands of candidates in the lurch.
This year, the MRB introduced a Tamil language test for the first time, and made it mandatory for the candidates to obtain a minimum of 40 per cent to clear the exam. However, this appears to have led to the delay in the announcement of the result — according to the MRB, the Board is yet to finalise the answers for the Tamil language paper.
Tamil paper poser
According to reports, the answers were found to be subjective, and the Board is waiting for them to be re-vetted by Tamil experts. It is to be noted that though there is a cut-off mark for eligibility, the Tamil score is not included in the overall ranking.
The MRB examination for assistant surgeons’ post is a prestigious opportunity for medical professionals. Though the computer-based test (CBT) mode makes it easy for evaluation, MRB sources claim that the subjective nature of the Tamil paper is posing a hurdle, and making the entire process time-consuming.
A student who wrote the exam told The Federal: “The Tamil paper did not have relevant questions related to medicine. It was stressful to even read and understand the questions.” This has added to the anxiety of the candidates.
As the 25,000 candidates who sat for the exam are vying for 1,021 vacancies, the stakes are high. The candidates are in a dilemma, torn between waiting for a government job as assistant surgeons through the MRB, or opt for NEET PG counselling.
Another student who wrote the MRB exam this year told The Federal: “As an aspiring doctor, I find government jobs a stepping stone towards furthering my medical career. Securing a position as an assistant surgeon can give me leverage during NEET PG counselling and it will also help me to pursue higher specialisations. But, the uncertainty around the results has caused a commotion and candidates are unsure whether to wait for the government job or actively pursue NEET PG counselling.”
Incidentally, the MRB exam is not considered a ‘mainstream’ one, and coaching academies typically do not offer tutorials for this. This means the candidates have to prepare for it on their own.
A Chennai-based government doctor-cum-assistant professor told The Federal: “After a long wait, the government and various associations together decided to conduct the exam but now it seems to no avail. The delay is making students lose hope in the entire system.”
With inputs from Blessina Issac, who is interning with The Federal in Chennai.