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Group of students to challenge government's decision to fix upper age limit for NEET in Supreme Court

The Union Health Ministry has amended the “Regulation of graduate medical education, 1997” and has fixed an upper age limit of 25 years for general and 30 years reserved category students.

Published: 05th February 2018 06:57 PM  |   Last Updated: 05th February 2018 10:13 PM   |  A+A-

Image used for representational purpose. (File | EPS)

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: A group of aspiring medical professional are moving to challenge a government decision to fix an upper age limit for appearing in the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) in the Supreme Court.

In a gazette notification published on January 22, the Union ministry of health and family welfare has amended the “Regulation of graduate medical education, 1997” and has fixed an upper age limit of 25 years for general and 30 years for reserved category students- who wish to take NEET.

NEET is the entrance test for MBBS, BDS and AYUSH courses across India and the decision will mean that thousands of students above 25 will lose their chance to attempt studying medicine.

“This is gross injustice and against our rights of education and equal opportunity,” said 27-year-old Kartikeya Rai, a NEET aspirant from Varanasi who has been preparing for the examination from last year.

He said he had missed out on studies completely for a few years as he was pursuing sports professionally before he decided to give NEET a shot this year.

A 27-year-old computer science engineer working with an IT giant in Bengaluru is another petitioner in the case. “It was my childhood dream to be a doctor but because of some family issues I studied engineering earlier and now want to pursue medicine. Why is the government shutting doors on us just because of age,” she said.

The government, last year too, had moved to fix the upper age limit but the Supreme Court had given interim relief to students beyond the limit on the grounds that “proper rules were not followed in fixing the eligibility criteria for the NEET.”

“Earlier during pre-NEET times, there was no upper age limit for students in state quotas or state pre-medical tests. The rule being imposed by the Central government now is very unfair for many students who come from diverse socio-economic backgrounds,” said Amit Gupta, a teacher in Kota who is spearheading a campaign to challenge the decision in the apex court.

“Many states have decided to even take physiotherapy and nursing institutes based on NEET scores—so it means that students above 25 with Biology background will have absolutely no option to choose a career in the field of medicine. Is it even constitutional?” he asked. “The government should limit the number of attempts instead of putting an age bar.”

MCI, however, defended the decision saying that the move was aimed at wastage of “precious medical seats.”

“Statistics show that dropout rate is higher among older students as they cannot cope with the rigour that MBBS and other courses in the field demand. This leads of the seats getting wasted,” said CV Birmanandham, vice-president of the MCI.

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  • jaggi

    A person who got everything done with time and without any pain or deviation from his initial path of life... He/she had no right to block initial path of other person which he got after climbing rocks of problems...
    1 year ago reply
  • Guardian

    AYUSH have no huge competitor. So why AGE LIMIT bound?........Please consider for AGE student........
    2 years ago reply
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