On Monday, the apex court dismissed a writ petition seeking orders to reschedule the NEET-UG 2021 exam. The exam will continue on September 12 as scheduled.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 for admission to undergraduate medical institutions will be held on September 12 (Sunday).
After the Supreme Court (SC) dismissed a group of students request to postpone the exam. The SC stated that it does not want to meddle with the process and that rescheduling it would be “very unfair.”
The petitioners, however, will be free to make a representation to the authorities, addressing their grievances, according to the court.
The petition to delay the exam
The hearing on the plea was adjourned to Monday (September 6) on September 3 by a three-judge bench consisting of Justice AM Khanwilkar, Justice Hrishikesh Roy, and Justice CT Ravikumar.
According to the petition filed through advocate Sumanth Nookala, the schedule is in the middle of the CBSE board improvement examinations, compartment exams, and other exams.
The CBSE Class 12 students will have the Biology exam on September 6, the Physics exam on September 9, the two major scientific subjects on the same week as the NEET exam.
The petition stated that it is manifestly arbitrary and violates Article 14 of the Constitution of India.
Supreme Court’s rejection to the appeal
Refusing to entertain the plea for the delay, the bench said to the counsel for petitioners, “The arguments which you are canvassing may not be relevant for 99 per cent candidates. For one per cent candidates, the entire system cannot be put on hold”.
When advocate Shoeb Alam who was appearing for the petitioners, indicated that roughly 25,000 pupils would take either improvement or compartment exams for class 12, the bench pointed out that just about 1% of students take these exams.
When Alam continued to argue, the court told that these kids should study into the wee hours of the morning and prioritise the exams accordingly.
The tribunal also questioned how far can the court intervene, as it may put a lot of pressure on students.
It is up to authority, here the NTA (National Testing Agency), to decide what it wants to do on its own and requested not to use the court to push them.
The bench added that the appeal seeks to overturn a public notice issued by the competent body on July 13 that scheduled the NEET UG 2021 examination for September 12.
It is not impressed or ready to show any tolerance to the petitioners or exercise the remedies under Article 32 of the Constitution for the reasons raised by the counsel for the petitioners.
The Aspirants’ request
Medical aspirants have gone to social media to voice their displeasure following the Supreme Court’s rejection of a petition to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test Undergraduate.
Students are now demanding Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan to intervene and reschedule the medical entrance exam using the hashtags #postponeNeet_savestudent and #RescheduleNEETUG.
Adding to the anguish, Congress MP Rahul Gandhi slammed the government for being “blind to students’ distress.”
With the Supreme Court rejecting the plea, the sole exam for shortlisting candidates for undergraduate medical programmes will be held in pen and paper mode across the country on September 12, following stringent COVID-19 guidelines.
A press release by the Education Minister cited that the number of cities for the examination has expanded from 155 to 198 to ensure social distancing standards.
According to the Ministry, there will be an increase in test centres from the previous year’s 3,862 centres.
Face masks will be handed to all candidates at the centre to ensure adherence to COVID-19 regulations.
The Ministry also added that there would also be staggered time windows for in and out, contactless registration, thorough sanitisation, and seats with social distancing, among other things.
Before and after the exams, all furniture, fixtures, and chairs will be sanitised, in addition to the common areas.
For proper air circulation, the examination room/halls will include open windows and fans.
The NEET-UG test will be held in 13 languages for the first time in 2021, with Punjabi and Malayalam joining the list of new languages announced by Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan in July.
He also told the opening of a new NEET exam centre in Kuwait to help the Indian student community in the Middle East. NTA NEET UG Admit Card 2021 was released on Monday following the SC’s rejection to postpone.
Candidates who have applied can download their admit card from the official website – https://neet.nta.nic.in/.