Published: 30th November 2018
Above 25 years? You can still write NEET, says Supreme Court
NEET UG 2019 notification was released on November 1. The notification specified the upper age limit for students as 25 years
In a big relief to few thousands of students aspiring to become doctors, the Supreme Court on Thursday allowed candidates who are 25 years of age and above to apply for and appear in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET 2019).
However, they may take the examination provisionally, subject to the final outcome of the case. In 2017 too, the apex court had scrapped the upper age limit but dismissed an age relaxation petition in 2018.
A bench of Justices S A Bobde, L Nageswara Rao and R Subhash Reddy gave the interim order of relaxation in age and directed the National Testing Agency (NTA) which was constituted for the sole purpose of conducting entrance and competitive exams and relieve other bodies such as CBSE of these duties to extend the deadline for filling the forms by a week time.
NEET UG 2019 notification was released on November 1. The notification specified the upper age limit for students as 25 years as on the date of the examination which means any student above the age of 25 on May 5, 201,9 is not eligible for the NEET UG exam this year. However, with the new direction from the apex court, such students can now apply for the exam with the condition that their eligibility status will be subject to the final ruling in the case.
"This decision is of great significance because when there is no retirement age of doctor, then why should there be an upper age cap for admissions into medical colleges," said Amit Gupta, a teacher and activist who led the team of students which had approached the apex court. Gupta further added, "When other top medical institutions in the country such as AIIMS and JIPMER do not have such a criterion, why should older students be discriminated in NEET?"
Arguing for the petitioners, advocate Zoheb Hussain told the bench that NEET being the entry point to the medical profession, an eligibility criterion by way of age limit impacts the rights of the petitioners to choose the profession of their choice and the same can be done only by way of an enacted law and not a regulation.