New Delhi: Despite the much-awaited brochure release of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for Under-Graduate NEET 2019, disappointment comes to many MBBS Aspirants as the discrimination against disabled NEET candidates, continuing since the past years; has once again struck the admission process
The brochure for the NEET 2019 was released on 1st November on the National Testing Agency (NTA) website and it conspicously lacks the newly amended guidelines for Persons with Specified Disabilities in eligibility criteria which were presented in front of the Supreme Court earlier in August. Due to this, whereas all eligible candidates have already started applying but candidates with disabilities are at an obvious disadvantage.
The earlier guidelines of the MCI, which are once again the part of this year’s brochure, were the bone of contention in numerous high court and supreme court cases with the courts, again and again, ruling in favour of candidates while slamming the council for its arbitrary guidelines. The Delhi HC even termed the MCI guidelines as “abhorrent to the principles enshrined in the Constitution of India and to the provisions of Rights of Persons with Disabilities Act, 2016”
Later, a series of petitions were filed with the Supreme Court seeking amendments to the discriminative MCI guidelines on disability. In response to which, the Union Health Ministry presented an amended version of the MCI guidelines before the court bringing victory to many disabled candidates aspiring to enter the field of medical education but not being allowed to do so due to old MCI regulations.
However, while the amended guidelines were indeed presented to the satisfaction of the court, the same is yet to come into implementation for the benefits of the NEET 2019 aspirants, as is evident with their absense in the NEET 2019 brochure
Concerned with the aforesaid feat, Dr Satendra Singh, MD and Founder of Doctors with Disabilities: Agents of Change has written a letter to NTA officials, MCI Board of Governors, Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Medical Counselling Committee (MCC) as well as Department of Empowerment of Persons with Disabilities (DEPwD). Pointing out that these modified MCI guidelines are yet to be ratified and approved by MohFW and MCI Board of Governors, Dr Singh has requested government authorities to halt the process till there is clarity on the guidelines and it is uploaded on NEET (UG) 2019 and MCI, MCC and MOHFW websites.
Speaking to Medical Dialogues, Dr Singh stated, “It is discriminatory for NTA to start the online application process for NEET 2019 without any clarity on guidelines for candidates with disabilities. “This will give undue advantage to non-disabled candidates. The NEET brochure is still containing the old details of the Disability Assessment Boards, constituted at the four metro cities,” he said, adding, “After many court cases, these were increased to nine.”