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For students writing the September 1-6 JEE in an exam centre abroad, it is noted that even if they manage to reach India to attend the September 13 NEET exam, they would be in quarantine the day of the exam.
Kozhikode-based Abdul Azeez has filed a rejoinder affidavit in the Supreme Court urging that the National Testing Agency (NTA) should be directed to set up foreign exam centres for the conduct of the NEET UG exams for the benefit of students presently living abroad amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Filed throught Advocates Haris Beeran and Pallavi Pratap, the petitioner points out that while foreign exam centres have been provided by the NTA for the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) for engineering college admissions, such centres have not been set up for the medical entrance exams i.e. the NEET exams.
It is further pointed out that there are students who seek to write both JEE and NEET exams who are prejudiced by this decision.
In this regard, it is noted that there are students abroad who have opted for a foreign exam centre to write the JEE exams due to be held on September 1 and 6.
However, with NEET exams scheduled for September 13 being conducted in centres within India, these students would not be able to travel to India on time to write these exams within time.
Given the low number of flights being plied and the quarantine restrictions in place, the petitioner highlights that it is nearly impossible for such students to travel to India for the September 13 NEET exams within a short gap of 6 days amid the pandemic.
To explain the predicament faced by the students, it is noted that even if they manage to reach India to attend the NEET exam, they would be in quarantine the day of the NEET exam. This is because of the mandatory quarantine period in place for those coming to India from abroad amid the pandemic, which is extends to 28 days (14 days + 14 days reverse quarantine).
In this backdrop, the petitioner has challenged the decision of the NTA to conduct the NEET and JEE exams with only a 6 day gap in between as arbitrary.
As such, the petitioner has made the following prayers before the Supreme Court:
To provide NEET Exam centres in Qatar and other gulf countries
To provide online mode of exams
In the alternative, provide adequate facilities to NEET applicants and their parents to attend the exam and return to Qatar after the exam by waiving off the mandatory quarantine period (which extends upto 28 days in various states including Kerala).
Earlier this week, the Supreme Court dismissed a petition seeking the postponement of NEET and the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) scheduled to be held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following the verdict, the Union Government on Friday also stated that the NEET and JEE exams will not be postponed.