The Medical Council of India has submitted before the Supreme Court that the postponement of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) Undergraduate (UG) 2020 shall be a "drastic deviation" from the academic schedule which "may affect the subsequent academic years" of the students.
In an affidavit filed on Friday, the MCI said the matter of overseas examination centres for NEET doesn't deserve the indulgence of the top court in view of the fact that the Government of India has permitted travel to and from other countries, through Vande Bharat Mission.
The affidavit was filed on a plea seeking directions to hold NEET at centres in Gulf countries.
The Government of India, under the Vande Bharat Mission, permitted Indian citizens, including overseas citizens of India, to come to India by special flights, the council said while seeking dismissal of the plea.
"In order to fairly conduct an examination like NEET, which has to be a uniform examination, it is imperative that the examination is conducted at the same time everywhere, which shall not be possible, if the examination is conducted in outside countries due to various reasons including different time zones, logistical issues, the secrecy of test papers being a booklet-based examination, etc," the plea said.
It said that if NEET is not conducted at the same time everywhere, then the "sanctity of the said examination will be lost", as there will be a possibility of leakage of questions.
The matter is slated to come up for hearing before the apex court on August 24.
The plea, filed by parents of nearly 4,000 NEET (undergraduate) candidates, has sought to alternatively postpone the examination until the COVID-19 pandemic normalises.
The parents of these candidates, who reside in Doha, Qatar, Oman, and UAE, have approached the apex court challenging the Kerala High Court June 30 order which had dismissed their plea.
In their appeal against the Kerala High Court order, the general secretary of Kerala Muslim Culture Centre in Qatar, Abdul Azeez said that the National Testing Agency (NTA) had the capability and willingness to open exam centres in Gulf countries as they had been doing so for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Main).
Earlier, the NTA had told the court that it is not possible to have overseas examination centres for NEET (UG) 2020 as the examination is conducted in paper book format.
Filing an affidavit, the NTA had said that examination cannot be conducted in cities abroad due to the fact NEET (UG) has to be conducted in single-shift at the same time, on the same day to maintain uniformity.
( With inputs from ANI )
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