The Honorable Supreme Court issued a notice to the Centre, Medical Council of India (MCI) and the National Testing Agency (NTA) to respond to a petition filed by the parents of over 4,000 NEET students seeking directions to allotcate NEET UG exam centers in Gulf countries.
The plea filed by the parents sought to alternatively postpone the NEET UG exam until the COVID-19 pandemic normalizes. The petition also highlights that the JEE for engineering courses is being conducted by NTA and these exams have got centers abroad as well. The JEE is both online and offline mode exam and NTA has got expertise in conducting exams abroad.
A Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao asked the MCI to explain whether any steps have been taken to conduct NEET UG exam online. The Bench said that judicial intervention in cases concerning academic issues was limited. However, the Apex Court sought response in two weeks and posted the case for hearing in the 2nd week of August.
The advocates Haris Beeran and Pallavi Pratap, representing the parents of the NEET students, had asked the Court to step in and spare their children from being forced to travel to India to appear for NEET UG exam amid a raging pandemic.
According to the parents, the students are helpless to write the exam as there is international travel ban to and from India. Assuming that there are seats in Vande Bharat Mission Flights, the students will be exposed to COVID-19 risks and also they would have to undergo quarantine on their arrival in India.
The parents had approached the top court after the Kerala High Court declined them relief on June 30, saying the court could not dictate terms to expert bodies like NTA and MCI over conduct of NEET UG exam. The petition said the NTA had stated in the High Court that it was ready to conduct online exam if MCI approved. The latter, however, rejected the suggestion in a communication on May 21.
Source: The Hindu
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