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SC asks NTA, MCI to consider holding NEET online next year

shish Tripathi
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 11:12 IST
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 11:12 IST
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 11:12 IST
Last Updated : 24 August 2020, 11:12 IST

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The Supreme Court on Monday asked the National Testing Agency and the Medical Council of India to organise NEET online next year for admission to medical colleges across the country.

A bench presided over by Justice L Nageswara Rao asked the authorities to think about holding online examinations like the IIT JEE.

The Court broached the idea while refusing to issue any direction for setting up NEET 2020 examinations in centres across the Middle East and other gulf countries to facilitate students from foreign countries.

The Court, however, allowed the students to approach the state government for relaxing 14 days quarantine norms for students coming from abroad.

A petition by Abdul Azeez questioned the validity of the Kerala High Court's order of June 30, that dismissed the plea for direction to the Centre to establish examinations centre abroad. The petitioner said the students studying abroad would be adversely affected by the decision.

The central government's decision to conduct the NEET 2020 examination on September 13 amidst the Covid-19 pandemic was a risky decision with the future of expatriate students.

The NTA, which provided examination centres abroad for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for an engineering course, ought to provide centres for conducting NEET 2020 as well, his plea stated.

Refusal to allot examination centres abroad for NEET 2020 was "arbitrary" and would cause "severe mental stress" to students preparing for it for years, the plea contended.

The High Court had said the NTA and MCI, being expert bodies, could only decide about the matter and it could not issue any such direction in view of Covid-19 pandemic.

In a special leave petition, the petitioner contended the right of students to education was being jeopardised by the state action as they were being unfairly discriminated only on the ground that they had studied abroad.

It said the High Court should have considered the future of the students in light of the current extraordinary situation and directed the NTA or the MCI to sanction exam centres in the Middle East and other Gulf Countries.

It also claimed that the High Court erred egregiously in not setting aside the decision of the NTA and the MCI to conduct NEET until the normalcy was restored.

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Published 24 August 2020, 11:12 IST

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