No NEET in Gulf; Centre may fly in aspirants: SC
The Supreme Court on Monday refused to direct the Centre to hold the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) at examination centers in the Middle East or online. However, the top court has asked the Centre to consider flying in NEET aspirants from foreign countries via the Vande Bharat Mission. The exam is scheduled to be held on September 13. Here are more details.
SC heard petition filed by Qatar-based NEET aspirant's parent
A three-judge Supreme Court bench was hearing a petition filed by Abdul Azeez, the parent of an NEET aspirant based out of Qatar. Azeez had said in the plea that around 4,000 NEET aspirants are stuck in Gulf countries due to the coronavirus pandemic and cannot appear for the examinations. The SC bench comprised Justices Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta, and S Ravindra Bhat.
Petition asked for NEET online or abroad
The petitioner had prayed that the NEET should either be made online or examination centers should be established in Qatar and other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries. The National Testing Authority (NTA) and Medical Council of India (MCI), however, had opposed the plea.
SC asks Centre to consider flying in aspirants
The SC bench refused to issue directions to the Centre to conduct NEET in the Gulf, agreeing that there was no time. However, the court asked the Centre to consider flying in NEET aspirants. The court added that there shall be no relaxation on the 14-day institutional quarantine for international travelers, however, allowed petitioners to approach state authorities to seek relaxation.
Court also asked MCI to consider online NEET in future
Further, the court asked the MCI to consider conducting NEET online in the coming years. It said, "There are a number of students appearing in NEET from the Gulf, Singapore, and Malaysia. Why can't you think of having NEET online?" It added, "This will avoid trouble for so many people studying abroad, especially when JEE for engineering courses is being conducted online."
NEET abroad not possible considering exam's uniformity, MCI argued
On Saturday, the MCI had submitted an affidavit in court arguing that the NEET cannot be held outside India considering the uniformity of the examination. The council had argued that it is imperative that the NEET, which follows a "paper-book format," should be conducted at the same time everywhere. This would not be possible due to different time zones and logistical issues, it said.