NEET: No relief for students, upper age-limit fixed at 25
The SC has refused to interfere in CBSE's decision of fixing the upper age limit of candidates for NEET 2018. This year, CBSE has allowed general candidates up to 25 years and reserved categories up to 30 years to appear. Ten students had challenged the rule, but the SC refused to entertain their petition. Incidentally, last year, it had scrapped the age caps.
About the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test
NEET, conducted by the CBSE, decides admissions into graduate/postgraduate medical courses like MBBS, BDS, MD or MS in colleges run under the Medical/Dental Council of India. In 2013, it replaced the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and individual entrance exams conducted by states and colleges.
Who are eligible to appear for the NEET 2018?
The NEET 2018 is scheduled for May 6. Online registrations began on February 9, to continue till March 9. For regular students, the application fee is Rs. 1,400, and Rs. 750 for reserved categories. Candidates who have either passed Class 12 with Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Bio-technology and English with minimum 50% marks, or those who will appear for the 2018 board exam, are eligible.
You can't appear if you fulfill any of these criteria
General candidates below the age of 17 and above 25, and SC/ST/OBC/Persons With Disabilities (PWD) candidates over 30, aren't eligible to appear for the exam. Those who passed 10+2 from open schools, or as private candidates, will not be eligible either. Students who took biology or biotechnology as an additional subject at the 10+2 level will also not be permitted in the exam.
Students had moved the SC against age limits
Tens students from different states had petitioned the SC to remove the upper age limit, contending there's no similar restriction in the AIIMS or JIPMER entrance exams. Advocate Amit Kumar argued there's no rationale why "a candidate aged above 25 isn't competent to take medicine course in India" since almost no developed country enforces such restrictions. But the SC dismissed the petition.
Incidentally, SC had removed age restrictions last year
Last year, the SC had scrapped the age limit, saying it "couldn't have been determined by way of a notice (by CBSE) on the basis of instructions issued by the Medical Council of India." It also recently stayed Bar Council regulations on age limits for admission to law courses. However, it had also ruled that NEET age limits could be fixed from this year.