MHRD has ruled out MCI order for NIOS and State Open School students preventing to appear on NEET exam 2018.
25 January 2018: Giving relief to all students of National Institute of Open Schooling or NIOS and State Open Schools, Ministry of Human Resource and Development (MHRD) has decided to revert back the decision of Medical Council of India regarding the barring of the students to appear on NEET exam 2018.
As per the previous order of MCI, the candidates of class 12 from any Open School should be debar from applying National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for the year 2018.
MCI Order: The Medical Council of India had prevented all the students passing class 12 examination via distant mode to attending the entrance test. A letter sent to NIOS by MCI said that the open school students are not equivalent to the regular students and not eligible also to appear on NEET. As per a MCI officer; “There were three points on which the decision was taken—stream, curriculum and duration of the course vis-a-vis regular students. Since the NIOS syllabus does not have a practical component, there is no matchability with regular students”.
Action of NIOS: After releasing of the letter, NIOS started protesting as this order would affect 3000 students across India. The NIOS official stated; “Across India, the number would be higher. Out of 3,000 NIOS students, 864 qualified the test too. So it is unfair to bar them.” They approached Government to intervene to stop crushing dreams of thousands medical aspirants.
Action of MHRD: HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar scheduled an important meeting over the issue on 18th January. The Ministry has decided to prevent MCI to apply the rule after the meeting. “The HRD Ministry stressed in a meeting with the Health Ministry that the MCI order was against the government policy on equal learning and career opportunities for open school students. NIOS students are to be treated on a par with regular students,” according to Government personnel.
HRD Officials said; ‘On many occasions, when students fail the Class XII boards or get a compartmental in one or more subjects, they choose open school to clear their boards. It won't be justified if they are denied the opportunity to take the NEET’. They had considered the plea of NIOS and taken decision in favor of 300 students.
In 2018, NEET exam will take place on 6th May. Last year almost 3,000 students had appeared for NEET exam from open schools and 864 students has also qualified for it.