In the ongoing NEET 2018 eligibility row, High court of Delhi has granted an interim order, making such candidates who insofar stood ineligible due to upper age limit and school of study, now eligible.

Dr Amit Gupta, RTI and student’s right activist, tweeted from his verified profile that interim relief has been granted for all NEET 2018 aspiring candidates who are above 25 years of age. Also those who have studied from open schools / NIOS, or as private candidates. The eligibility relief has also been given to those who did not have two years continuous study or studied biology as additional subject to fill the form of NEET.

The tweet reads

High Court of Delhi granted interim order for Relief permitting candidates

★above 25 years

★passed out from open schools ★NIOS

★ as private candidates

★did not have two years continuous study

★or studied biology as additional subject to fill the form of NEET.

The above order is the one that was referred in the discussions two days ago. The new case order shall be made public by evening.

This single tweet has made thousands of candidates elated. However, this is not the end of the story. The next hearing is on April 16. The court has kindly granted an early date for hearing as the exam is on May 6.

NEET 2018 has been embroiled in controversies since day one. The changes that were introduced this year were that firstly, candidates who have studied eleventh and twelfth classes from open school cannot appear in the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG) – 2018. Then age limit in NEET 2018 was also imposed making candidates above 25 years of age (UR) and 30 years of age (reserved categories) ineligible. Moreover candidates who had biology and biotechnology as additional subject were ineligible and also those who did not have two years continuous study.

It was a shocker to thousands of students across India. They had been preparing for the exam for two years at least.

It was also a major setback for open schools in India that run with the sole motive of ensuring that education reaches to anyone who wishes to be educated, without the limitations of having to go to a brick and mortar classroom.

Rakshanda Surana, an orphan with the passion to become a doctor one day and save lives, is a Gurgaon based NIOS student. She, along with 29 other students preparing for the exam filed a petition in Delhi High Court against the eligibility concerns. Today’s interim relief is a result of this petition and regular efforts of several people.

The petition says:

The exclusion of students who have passed 10+2 from Open School, private candidates and students who have not undertaken two years of regular and continuous study of Physics, Chemistry, Biology/Bio-Technology at 10+2 level, from admission to medical colleges is arbitrary, illegal and violative of Article 14,16 and 21 of the Constitution of India.

Whereas NIOS is also a board recognized by MHRD, thus barring it from the nation’s only medical entrance exam is arbitrary and diminishes the faith of students in the whole setup.

The question now is, can all these students – above 25 years of age, with additional biology, from NIOS/open school, private candidates – now apply for NEET 2018 or should they wait for CBSE to issue a statement.

We are on the lookout for answers to these and promise to give them to you as soon as anyone throws any light upon them.

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