Flights are available, SC tells NEET candidates abroad

Parents want either exam centres opened abroad or exams cancelled amid the pandemic

August 15, 2020 04:51 am | Updated 04:51 am IST - NEW DELHI

The Supreme Court on Friday told NEET candidates abroad that Vande Bharat flights are available during the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents of thousands of children abroad have approached the court to either open exam centres abroad, especially in the Middle East, or cancel the exams amid the health crisis.

But a three-judge Bench led by Justice L. Nageswara Rao referred to a response filed by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts exams for higher educational courses.

The NTA has already made it clear in an affidavit to the Supreme Court that NEET has to be held in India. The exam cannot be held online like JEE.

The NTA, after consulting the Medical Council of India, has submitted in court that the “NEET (UG) has to be held in a single shift at the same time on the same day to maintain uniformity.”

“They have a policy,” Justice Rao addressed advocate Haris Beeran, appearing for the students’ parents in a virtual court hearing.

The court finally listed the case for hearing on Friday next.

“Students are helpless to write the examination as international travel is banned to and from India. Assuming that they have seats in Vande Bharat Mission flights, the students will be exposed to COVID-19 risks as also they would have to undergo quarantine on their arrival in India,” the parents have submitted.

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