New Delhi, August 24: The Supreme Court on Monday declined to issue an order for setting up examination centres in Gulf countries for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET). The top court, instead, asked the central government to accommodate the aspirants vying to appear in the exams on Vande Bharat flights.

Scores of Non-Resident Indians (NRIs), staying in Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other Middle East nations, are hopeful of enrolling their students for medical education in India. Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, however, they were demanding examination centres in the countries where they are settled along with their children. 'Conducting Exams Will Be Giant Mistake Like Nasbandi of Indira Gandhi', Says Subramanian Swamy.

According to the apex court, the government should arrange for the travel of those students based in the Gulf who want to appear for the NEET Undergraduate examinations scheduled to be held in India on September 13. The preliminary reports did not mention whether the commutation would be subsidised or full flight rates would be charged.

Update by ANI

The Vande Bharat Mission was initiated by the Indian government in April this year, after Indian nationals in foreign countries were stranded due to disruption of flight services amid COVID-19 pandemic.

While the regular flight services continue to remain suspended, the Vande Bharat flights are operational to ferry back Indians applying for the return to the homeland. A major portion of the Vande Bharat services has been used in repatriating Indians from the Middle East.

Govt Firm on Conducting NEET Exam on Schedule

Despite a major online campaign initiated by students, and backed by several political leaders, the government is firm on conducting the NEET UG and the JEE Main exams on schedule next month.

Top Opposition leaders including Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal, his West Bengal counterpart Mamata Banerjee, ex-Congress president Rahul Gandhi and others have demanded Prime Minister Narendra Modi to defer the examinations considering the risk posed to the health of students by holding exams amid the pandemic.

(The above story first appeared on LatestLY on Aug 24, 2020 04:04 PM IST. For more news and updates on politics, world, sports, entertainment and lifestyle, log on to our website