The Delhi High Court on Wednesday put on hold the Central Board of Secondary Education’s decision to fix the upper age limit for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, PTI reported. The board, which conducts NEET, had fixed 25 as the upper age limit for students from the general category to write the national-level common entrance test for undergraduate medical and dental courses.
The interim order passed by the bench of Justices Sanjiv Khanna and Chander Shekhar allows medical aspirants to submit their application for the entrance exam. The last date to submit the application is March 9. However, the court is yet to decide if these students can appear for the exam, which will be held on May 6. The court will hear the matter again on April 6.
Although the Supreme Court on February 23 had refused to interfere with the CBSE’s decision, it had allowed a group of students to approach the High Court.
Ten students, all above the age of 25, from different states had challenged the CBSE’s decision, saying the entrance exams for other medical colleges, such as the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or the Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research did not have an age limit, The Times of India reported.
Candidates applying for NEET need to be between 17 and 25 years, according to the CBSE’s rules. Candidates from the SC, ST, OBC categories, and those with disabilities get five years more, ANI reported.
The students pointed out that across the world there was was no upper age limit to study medicine. “Therefore, there is no rationale behind the decision as to why a candidate above the age of 25 years is not competent to take medicine courses in India,” their petition said.