Not possible to hold NEET overseas, NTA tells SC

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Tribune News Service

New Delhi, August 13

It’s not possible to hold NEET overseas as the examination is conducted in “paper book format”, the National Testing Agency that holds the test told the Supreme Court on Thursday.

In an affidavit filed in the Supreme Court, NTA pointed out that “…NEET (UG) has to be conducted in single shift at the same time, on the same day to maintain uniformity and, further, the questions papers and other exam materials are to be transported from NTA headquarters to a large number of examination centres in various cities, which would require meticulous planning for safe and secured delivery of the same at the examination centres on time.”

The affidavit has been filed in response to a petition filed by parents of applicants for NEET (UG) 2020 working in Qatar.

The Supreme Court has last month issued notice to the Centre, MCI and NTA on their petition challenging a Kerala High Court order dismissing their demand for allotment of NEET centres in Gulf region. 

NTA asserted that the manner in which examinations had to be conducted was a policy decision purely within the domain of the examining body viz., Medical Council of India (MCI) and if examination centres should be provided in foreign countries was for the MCI to decide.

There was nothing on record to show that the MCI’s decision was “arbitrary or illegal”, it said.

Last month, a Bench headed by Justice LN Rao had asked the Centre, MCI and NTA to respond to the petition which demanded that if it was not possible to have NEET examination centres abroad the test should be postponed until the COVID19 crisis was over.

Filed by Abdul Azeez, general secretary, Kerala Muslim Culture Centre, Qatar, the PIL submitted that there were 4,000 such students registered with NEET-UG from Qatar who faced problems in getting their documents attested from Indian Embassy in Qatar.

This year’s NEET was scheduled in May but due to the pandemic, it was rescheduled to July 26 and then to September 13. It will be conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA) in pen and paper-based mode. 

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