NEW DELHI, NOVEMBER 29: National Testing Agency (NTA) has been asked by the Supreme Court to extend the last date of NEET application form 2019 by a week as per media reports. The decision comes on the heels of the recommendations of disability rights activists who have been up in arms, as the Medical Council of India (MCI) has not clarified the new guidelines for PwD aspirants. The application form of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2019 was earlier released on November 1, 2018, along with the brochure with no specified guidelines or new amended laws for disabled candidates as recommended.
MCI had reformed the PwD guidelines and published a notice on November 16, 2018, that opened the same for public opinion. Further MCI Board of Governors (BoG) also sent an amendment to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) on disability guidelines with the ministry deciding to take the public opinion on the same. The last date to send the comments and opinions for this was November 30, 2018, which is also the last date of NEET UG registrations 2019.
In light of this development, the Supreme Court has been reported to direct NTA to consider and thereby extend the dates for NEET 2019 registration by a week. Therefore, the last date for NEET Registrations may be December 7.
Pressure from social activists
Satendra Singh, the founder of Doctors with Disabilities: Agents of Change, said that, PwD aspirants, without knowing the reformed admission norms, fills the application form will lead to cancellation of candidature. These registered disabled students will lose a chance to pursue their MBBS education and no revised admission guidelines leads to discrimination towards disabled medical students.
Talking about the medical admissions, Mr. Singh said to the leading news agencies, that these aspirants would lose a year of education if they have to battle discrepancies in the court. He also urged that NEET registrations 2019 should be extended by a month for candidates with disabilities.
Satendra Singh also focuses on four Disability Assessment Boards in the major cities, which were later increased to nine after court cases. He said that the brochure does not contain the increased medical boards.
Confusion among parents
Talking to a news site in this regard, a parent of PwD child who is appearing for NEET UG 2019, said that she is unsure about the process of application form. Her son is suffering from learning disability and the disability assessment board of the Western region have the access for loco-motor disability candidates.
NTA will be issuing the admit cards to the registered candidates from April 15, 2019. NEET 2019 is to be conducted on May 5, for admission to 66,771 MBBS and 27,148 BDS seats offered by government and dental colleges of the country.