New Delhi: The Delhi High Court has asked CBSE not to reject the applications of open school candidates for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-UG, a pre-qualification for pursuing MBBS course, till the challenge to the exam’s eligibility criteria is decided.
It listed the matter before another bench which is hearing a batch of pleas against the Board’s notification laying down the eligibility criteria, including the upper age limit of 25 and 30 years for general and reserved categories respectively, to apply for the test.
The court also issued notice to the Centre, CBSE and the Medical Council of India (MCI) and sought their replies on the plea, filed through advocate Jose Abraham, which has also sought quashing of a clause in the notification which bars students from open schools or those who have studied privately from appearing in the test.
The 13 MBBS aspirants from Kerala have submitted in their plea that they have completed their higher secondary school education (10 plus two) from open schools or through private schooling and under the notification, they were barred from sitting for NEET-UG exam.
On February 28, another bench of the high court had put on hold the operation of CBSE’s January 22 notification.
Under the January 22 notification of CBSE, candidates who have studied in open school, students who have had biology or biotechnology as an additional subject, those who have taken more than two years to complete their 11th and 12th and students who have studied privately, were not eligible to apply for the examination.
The court, while passing its interim order on February 28, had made it clear that while the candidates will be allowed to submit their application for the entrance test, it does not mean they can sit for the examination, scheduled to be held on May 6.
The order was passed on several petitions moved by medical aspirants who were aggrieved by several other eligibility norms barring them from applying for the NEET-UG for which the last date for submission of application is March 9.
The bench had also said that students from open schools or those who have studied privately should belong to a recognised board in order to apply for the exam.
In the earlier batch of petitions, the students had also challenged the constitutional validity of the amendments made by the MCI in the Regulations on Graduate Medical Education which are the basis of the NEET-UG notification issued by the CBSE.