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Delhi High Court to hear plea of 15-year-old NEET aspirant, who was refused application form over age criteria, today

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The Delhi High Court will on Tuesday take up the petition filed by a 15-year-old NEET-2021 aspirant, who was not allowed to fill online application form, as he was not satisfying the minimum age criteria which is mandatory to fill the Online Application form.

The matter was listed before the Single-Judge Bench of Justice Rekha Palli on Monday, which deferred it as the petitioner did not implead the relevant party and directed him to implead the party. 

The petition has been filed by one Akash Yadav, who is a minor through his father Dr Surendra Kumar Yadav (Petitioner-in-Person), seeking directions to be allowed to fill online forms in order to sit for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test 2021. The petition was filed on August 4, and the last date of filling the application form was August 6.

There is a 13-month gap between the age of the petitioner and the required age for filling the application form, which is minimum of 17 years for NEET-2021 exam candidates. 

The petitioner had completed his Class X examination in 2019 with 90.2 percent marks and Class XII examination in 2021 with 89 percent marks from Central Board of Secondary Education.

According to the eligibility criteria for NEET-2021 as set by the National Testing Agency, an applying candidate has to be 17 years old on or before December 31, 2021. A student born in 2006 can apply for an Under Graduate programme in Engineering via Joint Entrance Examination 2021, which is also conducted by NTA.

The petitioner is deeply disturbed and embarrassed as all his classmates and batchmates are permitted to sit for entrance examination/courses of their choice, but he is unable to appear for the entrance examination of his choice.

Also Read: Delhi High Court issues notice to Delhi govt, Excise Commissioner on home delivery of liquor

The petitioner has cited several child prodigies, who have attained their goal despite their age. These include:

a. Dr. Bala Murali Krishna ‘Bala’ Ambati, an ophthalmologist from Boston, who holds the Guinness World Record for being the youngest Doctor at aged 17 years and 294 days.

b. Dr. Sho Yano, a neurologist from Chicago, who became the youngest MD in 2012, when she completed her course at aged 21.

c. Dr. Arpan Doshi, youngest physician to practice in the United Kingdom at age 21.

d. Yasha Asley, youngest professor at age 14 years, teaching at University of Leicester. 

The petitioner quoted Justice P. N. Bhagwati, former Chief Justice of India, “The child is a soul with a being, a nature and capacities of their own, who must be helped to find them, to grow into their maturity, into a fullness of physical and vital energy and the utmost breadth, depth and height of its emotional, intellectual and spiritual being; otherwise, there cannot be a healthy growth of the nation.”

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