A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court challenging the Delhi High Court verdict upholding the upper age limit of 25 years for General category candidates and 30 years for those belonging to SC/ST/OBC category for appearing in the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test.
The appeal moved by 27-year-old Tribhuvan Singh from Rajasthan questions whether the age of a candidate has any relation to competence, caliber and merit of a candidate seeking admission to medicine courses. The petition also questions whether the Medical Council of India has the competence to frame regulations prescribing eligibility conditions for appearing in NEET and whether the restrictions placed on aspiring medicos is reasonable or violative of Article 19(1)(g) of the Constitution of India.It also raises the issue whether NEET should be the sole criteria to judge the eligibility and merit of a candidate to take admission in medicine courses in the country and should not there be any additional eligibility condition out for appearing in NEET.
It is to be noted that on May 11, the Delhi High Court had upheld the CBSE’s upper age limit of 25 and 30 years for general and reserved categories, respectively, to apply for the pre-Medical test considering the limited number of seats and large numbers of aspirants in India while allowing candidates from open schools to also take NEET.
The high court had said, “…need to put the upper age limit was necessary as there are approximately 61,000 seats for MBBS course in government and private medical colleges in the country. There has to be a level playing field for selection amongst lakhs of candidates who appear every year (in 2017, about 11 lakh candidates had appeared). It is obvious that a candidate who is 17 or 18 years of age will find it difficult to compete with a candidate who is above 26/31 years of age aand has been studying for last 7 to 10 years or even more only to get admission to an MBBS course”.