New Delhi: The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test( NEET), capping of three attempts and the upper age restriction at 25 years, introduced by the Medical Council of India(MCI), may soon be withdrawn .
This comes after the Supreme Court-appointed panel,(in consult with the Health Ministry), vetoed against the government move to cap both age and no of attempts for NEET, for entry into undergraduate medical schools. The reason given for this change of decision, as cited by former Chief Justice, RM Lodha, Head, Supreme Court mandated Oversight Committee, is a “dearth of doctors in the country” reports HT.
Earlier the MCI had imposed capping on both attempts and age implying it favored only young blood for the medical profession- a young student would be able to grasp the teaching and training with more ease and efficiency.
However, with the oversight committee now deciding against it, the council may soon withdraw the controversial orer. The MCI in its statement to the TOI on Thursday said, they were deleting the limitations based on recommendations from the Oversight Committee and the Union health ministry.
“The oversight committee felt such limitations will reduce the number of doctors in the country. The union health ministry agreed and suggested recommendation to us. We have passed it,” said MCI Vice-President, Dr CV Bhirmanandham in a statement to the TOI. “We give everyone the opportunity to clear the test. Students who don’t make it this year either because they haven’t prepared for the test or because they haven’t applied for the test on time can always try later. It gives even undergraduate students of BSc an opportunity. “
In January 2017, the government (UGC) had issued an executive order limiting the number of NEET attempts to three and the upper age limit at 25 years. Both these decisions were taken with the consent of the Medical Council of India. However, within days of this announcement, the student community took the government to court on the capping issue.
Regarding the cap, The Lodha panel made its recommendations to the government on February 28, 2017. HT adds that this would now be taken up in the court where the matter is sub-judice.
“The Supreme Court will take up the panel’s suggestions on March 20. Should the court accept those, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), which conducts NEET, might have to rework the applications process that closed on March 1,” reports HT
Before the controversial order, any student above the age of 17 could apply for medical entrance ,and there were no limits to the number of attempts either.