NEET: Delhi High Court Grants one Time Exemption to All Candidates.

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The Delhi high court has upheld MCI’s amended regulation to qualify NEET for those students who want to study medicine abroad. However, a major relief is being provided to students who could not pass NEET or did not appear for the NEET test this year only as a part of a one-time exemption as Delhi high court has directed  MCI to grant eligibility certificates to these students.

Delhi high court decided that it would be unfair to provide eligibility certificates to only those candidates who did not appear for NEET this year, so the decision was implemented on all those candidates who appeared for NEET but did not qualify.

The petitioners who argued that the new amendments were arbitrary and protested that the MCI issued a public notice in the newspaper informing the students seeking admission for a medical course in foreign universities, on 8 March 2020.  This publication was done one day before the last date of registration for NEET i.e 9 March 2020. Numerous students were dumbstruck by this decision of MCI and many were not aware of this change in procedure. So the high court had to give a one-time exemption to all the candidates either appearing or not appearing for NEET to acquire their eligibility certificates to study abroad for this year. The petitioners were of the opinion that foreign universities and medical colleges do not come under the supervision of prof MCI and thus there is no need to clear NEET to ensure quality medical education. It was submitted that these foreign medical universities have their own entrance exams and set of patterns and thus NEET should not be taken into consideration to apply to medical universities abroad.

The second challenge of petitioners was that the candidates had to scramble to fill up forms for NEET on such short notice. The applicants also had very little time to prepare for the exam. In such a scenario, the candidates were divided into two categories, one who did not fill the NEET form and others who failed in the NEET exam. The court decided that it would be unfair to give a one-time exemption to only those candidates who could not fill-up the form because of such short notice. So the bench of justice in Delhi high court directed MCI to grant eligibility certificates to all the candidates who want to study abroad as a one time measure.

An alteration was made in Foreign Medical Institution Regulations, 2002 and Screening Test Regulations, 2002 this year in February which composites the students to qualify for NEET who wish to study medicine abroad from 2018, onset. Delhi high court has clearly dismissed the petition of those candidates who wanted to reverse the amendments in n Foreign Medical Institution Regulations, 2002 and Screening Test Regulations, 2002. The appellants who took the matter to court and those who did not appear for NEET this year are thus given a one-time exemption and can collect their eligibility certificates to study abroad from MCI. The NEET will, however, remain mandatory from next year for students to study in foreign lands.

A higher official in MCI MR.T Singhdeo stated that the system of NEET verifies that only deserving and suitable candidates with enough competence and proficiency can opt for admission in medical institutions at the undergraduate level in India and abroad. The court is of the opinion that MCI’S revised regulations have direct nexus with the quality of medical professionals who desire to study abroad. After completing their course abroad, these candidates will have to pass the Screening Test Regulations to practice the medical occupation in India. The candidates planning to study medicine in foreign universities in 2020 have to clear NEET as a mandatory measure.

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Date: 22 Jan 2020

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