New Delhi: The Supreme Court today refused a plea seeking directions to the National Testing Agency (NTA) to set up National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam centres abroad to enable students residing overseas to write their exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The court has, however, sought a response from the government on whether it can ensure that the overseas aspirants of the NEET exam can be brought back via Vande Bharat mission flights before September 13 for writing their exams.
The bench comprising Justices L. Nageswara Rao, Hemant Gupta and S. Ravindra Bhat has directed Solicitor General Tushar Mehta to speak to concerned ministries to ensure that aspirants from the Middle East are permitted to return to India in Vande Bharat Mission flights.
The bench has further directed the authorities to ensure that incoming students are quarantined for 14-days in public interest.
The bench also gave the liberty to the petitioners to approach the concerned state governments seeking a relaxation of the quarantine period for incoming students.
The bench was hearing a petition filed by Abdul Azeez, general secretary of the Kerala Muslim Culture Centre, Qatar, challenging the Kerala High Court order which dismissed his plea seeking the setting up of NEET centres abroad or in the alternative to postpone the exam’s until the COVID-19 pandemic passes.
The petitioner submitted that there are 4,000 such students registered with NEET-UG from Qatar who are not being able to get their documents attested from the Embassy of India in Qatar. The petitioner also submitted that the students had booked their flight tickets to attend the exam, but the exams were postponed due to Covid 19 and thereafter the students were unable to fly back home since the international flights were not operational.
– India Legal Bureau