More than 10 lakh students are preparing for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2018, aka, CBSE NEET UG 2018. The number could have been higher, had not age limit, open schooling, or additional biology issue come into play.

Students, educators, activists across the country have filed various cases for different courts to look into the matter.

Several people in positions of responsibility have spoken out against the new discriminatory clauses.

The final decision on age limit for NEET 2018 was spelled out by MCI. According to it, a candidate should be at least 17 years old as on December 31 of the year of exam – this is the minimum age limit. Also the candidate should not be more than 25 years old (or 30 years old if he/she is SC / ST / OBC) as on date of exam – this is upper age limit.

Anyone who is younger than 17 years as on 31 Dec 2018, or older than 25 (30 if SC/ST/OBC) as on date of exam, is not eligible for the exam.

Another set of candidates who are ineligible are those who have studied 10+2 from open school or as private candidates (Read: No NEET 2018 for open school and private candidates). There are twelve open school boards in India, and at least a few thousands of them were planning to appear in NEET, aspiring to be a doctor some day. Their dreams have been shattered as they had no clue that out of the blue they would be deemed ineligible for an entrance exam.

That’s not all. Students who studied biology/biotechnology as additional subjects are also not eligible.

A large number of students who had toiled for years to appear in the medical entrance exam have now been deemed ineligible.

Dr Amit Gupta recently tweeted


Affected Candidates are advised Not to Waste Money in other High Court of India

All the 3 cases of #NEET (age limit/NIOS+Private/additional biology)

are already submitted in Delhi HC

Moreover Becoming Petitioner in same case in 2 different courts is illegal

On the other hand, CBSE has issued a notice.

NEET 2018 Open School

“In recent past, CBSE has received grievances on the Eligibility Criteria for NEET (UG) 2018 Examination. Basically, these grievances are from the students of Open Schools and from the Candidates who have passed class XII as a Private Candidate or have passed Biology, as an additional subject.

It is to apprise that the responsibility of CBSE is limited to hold the NEET (UG) examination, based on the eligibility criteria provided by Medical Council of India (MCI). As per eligibility criteria, students who have pursued schooling through NIOS/ State Open School or students who had studied Biology/ Bio-Technology, as an additional subject at 10+2 level are ineligible as per Graduate Medical Education Regulations, 1997, as amended in 2018 under the MCI Act, 1956 and provided to CBSE to hold the NEET (UG). It is also to apprise that CBSE has no role to play in deciding the eligibility conditions for NEET (UG).

In view of above, all the grievances received by CBSE on the above said issues are disposed off. Further, candidates are once again requested to kindly read the Information Bulletin and FAQs hosted on NEET website before sending grievance to CBSE in any form i.e. through email, fax, phone etc. as the information on the grievances sent to CBSE is already available in the Information Bulletin and FAQs. For other grievances too, information is already available in Information Bulletin and FAQs.

Thus, Co-operation of aspiring candidates and general public in accessing the information from the Information Bulletin and FAQs will help the CBSE in supporting the public/aspiring candidates in providing other vital information timely.”

The board is right. CBSE indeed does not have a say in who becomes eligible or ineligible for NEET. CBSE in fact conducts several entrance exams including JEE Main 2018 which is scheduled to be held in April, UGC NET 2018 which will be held in July, to name a few. The board is only responsible for conduct of exam and declaring its results. Rules of these exams are governed by different bodies.

In the case of NEET, decisions are taken by MCI (Medical Council of India).

Two days ago, various newspapers reported that the Supreme Court has refused to interfere on age limit. There are high chances that the age limit is here to stay.

The matter – of age limit in NEET exam – caused much controversy last year also. In 2017, MCI imposed age limit but on March 31, 2017, the upper age limit was removed. Thereafter the last date to apply was extended to April 5.

Will history repeat itself?

Many students and activists are rallying hard to get some changes introduced. Final decision of the court shall be binding in all matters.

In your opinion, are there any chances of SC intervening in any of the matters – NEET 2018 age limit, open school candidates, private candidates, additional biology – and changing the criteria?

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  1. Definitely age bar should be removed from state quotas..and should provide equal opportunity to all…for getting medicine as a carrier

  2. Can i study regularly 10+2 in an inter board as regular student wasting 2 years? as follows my age is now 21. Am i eligible?

  3. I passed 12th with two times compartment attempt in maths and the marksheet as private candidate from CBSE ,PCMB was my subjects and done regular classes ,I m eligible or not for NEET 2018?

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