The Supreme Court will give the final verdict on the age criteria of National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance-Test (NEET 2017) on March 31. Several petitions were filed questioning the government on why have they reduced the age limit to 25 to apply for the single common entrance examination for admission in medical colleges.

The Oversight Committee on the Medical Council of India, headed by former Chief Justice RM Lodha, recommended removal of age cap. On March 16, MCI Vice-President Dr CV Bhirmanandam informed media that they will follow these recommendations. “The Oversight Committee felt such limitations will reduce the number of doctors in the country. The Union Health Ministry agreed and suggested the recommendations to us. We have passed it,” Dr Bhirmandandam had said.

READ| NEET 2017: MCI to remove age, attempt cap

A similar petition is filed at the Allahabad High Court.

Activist Dr Anand Rai, part of the petitioning team, said that there over 20,000 aspirants who are above 25 years waiting for the government’s decision. But the Court has said that those candidates who have filed petitions or approached them by March 1 (the last date to submit NEET application), will get the age-limit relaxation. “This will be unfair to many as not everyone can approach the court. It will upset the rural students,” said Rai.

Ever since the CBSE announced the age and attempt criteria for NEET in January, the medical aspirants are protesting to roll back the decisions. While the MCI later made NEET 2017 to be counted as the first attempt, the age-limit criteria remain the same.