NEET 2020 NEWS
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NTA has released the new age limit criteria for NEET 2020. The information brochure has been published at ntaneet.nic.in and clearly specifies the lower and upper age limit.
Lower age limit remains unchanged i.e. 17 years, as on December 31 of the year of admission. Whereas the upper age limit is set to be 25 years, as on the date of exam. For SC,ST,OBC-NCL,PWD category candidates there will be relaxation of 5 years.
The court cases regarding NEET age limit are still going on. Various judgement and hearings are pending at the Supreme Court of India. In such a scenario, the last interim order is to be followed. As per the words of officials “the candidates above 25 years are provisionally permitted to appear and their candidature is subject to the outcome of pending petitions before the Honourable Supreme Court”.
Earlier, there was no upper age limit criteria for appearing in the NEET exam. An aspirant raised a grievance in November 2017 asking if there is some upper age limit for appearing in the NEET exam.
The Department of Health and Family Welfare addressed this grievance on December 14, 2017 stating that the upper age limit of unreserved category candidates for appearing in NEET will be 25 years starting from the academic year 2018-19. The reserved category candidates will be relaxed by the specified years, as per the applicable government norms.
Refer to the following Grievance Status screen for details.
So this age limit clause for NEET was introduced. But very soon after its implementation, lots of NEET aspirants with age above 25 years protested to revoke this decision. This happened because with this clause, they were made ineligible for appearing in the NEET exam.
The honorable Supreme Court of India instructed MCI to look into this matter. MCI quoted that the new clause aims to select younger candidates, since they can easily grasp knowledge and study the medical topics as compared to the older students.
MCI also said that earlier those candidates who pass class 12th and appear in NEET in the same year, were required to compete with older candidates who might have spent many years preparing. Thus, this was an unfair competition for the 12th class students. So there should be a cap for the upper age limit.
After a thorough analysis, the Supreme Court declared that there should not be an upper age limit for candidates appearing in NEET 2017. The NEET 2017 application submission dates were also extended to give a chance to the students who did not apply earlier due to the age limit criteria.
The history behind NEET age limit depicts that as per the regulations on Graduate Medical Education 1997 vide amendment dated 22.01.2018, the upper age limit for the medical entrance exam should be 25 years. However the matter was challenged in the High Court of Delhi and the age limit was upheld as per judgement dated 11.05.2018 in petition no. 1813/2018.
The judgement was challenged once again, this time in Supreme Court in SLP (C) no. 14320/2018 and vide interim order dated 29.11.2018 candidates older than 25 years were allowed to appear provisionally.
Then the Supreme Court ordered on 29.04.2019 to permit candidates to provisionally take part in the counselling subject to be treated as adjudication of matters. Though this is still pending.
To sum this up, there are parties in favor of having an upper age limit in NEET exam, considering that competition becomes unfair for younger students who have been preparing for several years also compete for the limited seats. Then there are groups against the age limit as well, who feel that medical education should not be limited on age factor.
So to conclude this, candidates should be more than 17 years as on December 31, 2020 to appear for NEET 2020. Also they should ideally be less than 25 years as on May 3, 2020 or 30 years for SC, ST, OBC-NCL.
However as of now, those who are older than the upper age limit can also apply for NEET 2020 but the final judgement about whether or not they are eligible will be decided when the court cases will come to end.