Days after the Centre issued a gazette notification on January 23, fixing the upward age limit for the National Eligibility Entrance Test, (NEET) at 25 for the candidates belonging to the unreserved category, while 30 years for the SC/ST/OBC candidates, a group of students moved Supreme Court challenging the decision. Their plea was that no such restriction prevailed in the case of courses like engineering or law.
Following the release of the MCI’s January 23 gazette notification, another petitioner Arun Ghorai has also filed a writ in the Calcutta High Court, challenging the decision of the union health ministry on imposing an upper age limit for both the general and reserved category students, reports millennium post.
The petition of the group of ten students from all over the country has questioned the validity of the decision, stating that no such age restriction had been imposed for appearing for the entrance examination of medical colleges like All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER).
The petition filed through advocate Amit Kumar said, “In almost all developed countries such as USA, Canada, UK and most of European Union, Australia etc. there is no upper age limit for studying medicine course if the student is otherwise competent to undertake medicine courses. Therefore, there is no rationale behind the decision of as to why a candidate above the age of 25 years is not competent to take medicine courses in India. Similarly, there is no upper age limit for pursuing engineering and law courses and the reputed IITs and NLUs have not provided for any upper-age limit for admission” reports TOI.
The petitioning students also alleged that the apex court had recently also imposed a stay on the Bar Council of India regulations for prescribing a maximum age-limit for taking admission to law courses to 20 years (for integrated course) and 30 years (for 3 year course) on the ground that there was no rationality behind it.
“There is no upper age limit for enrolment as a medical practitioner. Also, there is no age bar for students to undertake their medicine courses from other countries and come back to India and get them enrolled as a medical practitioner in India after clearing the screening tests. Therefore, an Indian citizen is allowed to complete his medicine course from outside India by paying hefty fees irrespective of his upper-age and come back to India to practice medicine, but the same person is not allowed to sit even for NEET examination for admission to MBBS course in the country if he is above 25 years of age,” the petition further added.