The Supreme Court Monday allowed National Testing Agency to conduct second round of the NEET (UG) for the COVID-19 affected students and those in containment zones on October 14.
A bench headed by Chief Justice S A Bobde passed the order after Solicitor General Tushar Mehta sought the top court’s nod in the issue citing special circumstances due to the coronavirus pandemic.
”In view of the circumstances which have necessitated postponement of the examination in the past and in view of the prevailing circumstances, we consider it appropriate to grant permission to the National Testing Agency to conduct a second part of the NEET (UG) 2019 for the COVID affected students and for those in containment zones on October 14, 2020,” the bench said.
The bench, also comprising Justices A S Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian,said the result may be declared on October 16, 2020.
The crucial National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which is a pen and paper based test unlike engineering entrance exam JEE, was held on September 13 after being deferred twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The exam was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26, and then to September 13.
The apex court had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations, which are scheduled to be conducted in September, amid spurt in number of COVID-19 cases, saying precious year of students “cannot be wasted” and life has to go on.
The top court had said career of students “cannot be put under jeopardy for long”.
Later, the apex court had dismissed a review plea of ministers of six opposition-ruled states seeking review of its August 17 order allowing holding of NEET and JEE exams physically.
The ministers had claimed that the top court order failed to secure students” “right to life” and ignored “teething logistical difficulties” to be faced in conducting the exams during the pandemic.