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SC Decrees 25 Years As Minimum Age for NEET 2019

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Supreme court on Thursday pronounced its judgement on the forthcoming NEET undergraduate exam 2019 for MBBS and BDS, imposing an minimum age limit of 25 years to appear for the exam.

The top court said the final admission would be subject to the final outcome of the case on validity of CBSE decision to fix upper age limit.

The top court has extended the last date for submitting filled NEET forms by a week to enable aspirants who did not qualify under the earlier age criteria to apply.

The last date for submitting forms was tomorrow.

The Central Board of Secondary Education, or CBSE, had notified the upper age limit of 25 and 30 years for general and reserved categories respectively to apply for National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-UG, a pre-qualification for pursuing MBBS course.

The Supreme Court’s decision comes in the matter of Medical Council of India’s (MCI) decision to keep an upper age limit for NEET for admission to medical colleges.

The court had earlier agreed to examine the validity of an amendment to the MCI Regulations on Graduate Medical Education of 1997. The amendment that was notified on January 22, stipulated an upper age limit of 25 years for general category candidates and of 30 years for those belonging to the Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes and Other Backward Classes (OBC) as well as those is the physically handicapped categories.

The Delhi High Court had on May 11 upheld the regulation. It had held that a 17- or 18-year-old candidate will find it difficult to compete with older and more experienced candidates.

Senior advocate Amarendra Sharan, arguing for the petitioners, told the court the regulation is artificial and serves no real objective. “The Regulation is bad as per the (MCI Oversight) Committee as well as the central government that has recommended deletion of the upper age limit as the country needs more doctors,” the lawyer said.

But the bench noted that the regulations are in exercise of legislative power to which Sharan replied: “When candidates secure higher marks, it increases competition, resulting in better doctors.”