NEET 2020: Now Supreme Court questions MCI, Centre on plea for exam centres in Gulf countries
NEW DELHI: Responding to a plea of around 4000 NEET aspirants demanding centres abroad, the Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Central government as well as the Medical Council of India (MCI) on a plea seeking directions to hold National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam centres in Gulf countries.
The plea, filed by parents of nearly 4,000 NEET (undergraduate) candidates, sought to alternatively postpone the examination until the COVID-19 pandemic normalises.
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the Centre and the MCI to sought their responses on the pleas. The parents of these candidates, who reside in Doha, Qatar, Oman, and UAE, have approached the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court June 30 order which had dismissed their plea.
Medical Dialogues team had earlier reported that the same issue was placed before the Kerala High court, where the National Testing Agency (NTA) and MCI informed the Kerala High Court that arranging examination centres for National eligibility cum entrance test (NEET) in abroad is not practical since it is not feasible to conduct NEET online in a single shift for all candidates. The authorities also told the court that allotting exam centres for this upcoming MBBS entrance test, is not possible as it takes meticulous planning and the exam is about to be held next month; which evidently gives them not enough time.
Based on the submissions, the Kerala HC dismissed the appeal of the students, following which the students and parents approached the Supreme Court.
In their appeal against the Kerala High Court order, the general secretary of Kerala Muslim Culture Centre in Qatar, Abdul Azeez said that the National Testing Agency (NTA) had the capability and willingness to open exam centres in Gulf countries as they had been doing so for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).
The petition contended that the NTA has said it would open examination centres abroad only if the MCI approved the proposal.
The MCI, in its communication dated May 21, informed that the online test for NEET is not possible, the plea in apex court stated.
"During these exceptional circumstances, the MCI and the Union government need to be flexible so as to facilitate these students to sit for NEET," the plea said.
It said most students had registered with Indian embassies in Qatar, Oman, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to travel to India on Vande Bharat mission flights and appear in the examination for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in medical colleges, however, they could not get seats on the flights as priority was given to other categories of passengers stuck abroad.