New Delhi: The Medical Council of India(MCI), justifying its recent decision of capping the upper age limit for NEET-at 25 years for medical aspirants ( general) for MBBS and BDS courses submitted that ‘sharp young minds’ are required to study medicine. However, SC/ST and OBC have been given a relaxation upto 30 years.
The affidavit filed by the apex education regulator in the Supreme Court states, “It is humbly submitted that age is a major factor in determining the capability of the student to learn,” the regulator said in its affidavit. “It is relevant to submit that the study of medicine requires rigorous study and training imparted during the MBBS/BDS course and, therefore, sharp young minds are required to absorb the same …. A young student studying MBBS/BDS course will be able to grasp the teaching and training imparted in the medical colleges with more ease and efficiency, ” reports Tribune
The affidavit further adds, “It is unfair to make a young student giving the NEET examination for the first time to compete with a much older student who had more time to prepare and had already given several attempts,” reports The Telegraph.
The MCI submission was made following a direction by the court on a petition filed by some medical students, who have challenged a clause introduced in the admission notice, dated January 31,2017, by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), providing a maximum of three attempts for the National Eligibility cum-Entrance Test (NEET).
Approximately 7.5 lakh students appear for nearly 63,000 MBBS seats and 27,000 BDS seats in government and private medical colleges all over the country.
“It is submitted that it is discernible that when the number of students competing are far in excess of the number of seats available then it becomes very difficult to assess and determine real merit, “ the affidavit further justified.
Meanwhile, perturbed and confused by the age limit imposed by the Central Board of Secondary Examinations for NEET, the Health Department Kolkata has posted a letter to the exam conducting body to relax the age norm.
In a correspondence in this regard, Director, Medical Education, Sushanta Bandopadhyay, has impressed upon the Board not to disqualify, aspirants without Aadhaar cards from taking NEET 2017. The same letter also asks the body to release an individual state merit list based on the valid NEET score and domicile status, which has been refused by the body thus far.
“Till last year, when the Bengal government conducted Joint Entrance Examinations for entry to the medical colleges, no such upper age limit existed. So, merit was the sole criteria for selection. Even putting a bar on the number of attempts to three was not a rule in Bengal. The Medical Council of India also holds no such regulations. After CBSE published the application criteria, we have protested against the decision as well as against making Aadhaar mandatory,” told a Sasthya Bhavan source to the TOI.
Pressure exercised by several state governments has led to the CBSE clarifying that though the attempts were restricted to three, the count will start afresh from this year. Thus all candidates will be eligible to take the test, despite having appeared for AIPMT or NEET previously.
The other shocker to the state’s health government has come in the body deciding to hand over the All-India Rank (AIR) list only, for NEET examinees, and not any state merit list to the respective governments to fulfill 85% domicile quota seats in state-run medical colleges.