NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Wednesday sought a response from the Central government and the Medical Council of India (MCI) on a plea seeking directions to hold National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam centres in Gulf countries.
The plea, filed by parents of nearly 4,000 NEET (undergraduate) candidates, sought to alternatively postpone the examination until the COVID-19 pandemic normalises.
A bench headed by Justice L Nageswara Rao issued notice to the Centre and the MCI to sought their responses on the pleas.
The parents of these candidates, who reside in Doha, Qatar, Oman, and UAE, have approached the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court June 30 order which had dismissed their plea.
In their appeal against the Kerala High Court order, the general secretary of Kerala Muslim Culture Centre in Qatar, Abdul Azeez said that the National Testing Agency (NTA) had the capability and willingness to open exam centres in Gulf countries as they had been doing so for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE).
The petition contended that the NTA has said it would open examination centres abroad only if the MCI approved the proposal.
The MCI, in its communication dated May 21, informed that the online test for NEET is not possible, the plea in apex court stated.
"During these exceptional circumstances, the MCI and the Union government need to be flexible so as to facilitate these students to sit for NEET," the plea said.
It said most students had registered with Indian embassies in Qatar, Oman, the UAE, and Saudi Arabia to travel to India on Vande Bharat mission flights and appear in the examination for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses in medical colleges, however, they could not get seats on the flights as priority was given to other categories of passengers stuck abroad.