NEET UG: 15.97 Lakh Write Exams Across 3,843 Centres on Sunday

The pen-and-paper-based medical entrance examination is being held from 2-5 pm across 3,843 centres today.

3 min read
The pen-and-paper-based medical entrance examination will be held from 2-5 pm across 3,843 centres today.

With the country registering almost one lakh coronavirus cases each day, around 15.97 lakh candidates are writing the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) on Sunday, 13 September.

NEET, which is an pen and paper based entrance test for admission to undergraduate medical and dental courses, began 2 pm and will continue till 5 pm across 3,843 centres in the country in adherence to strict coronavirus health guidelines.

Speaking to The Quint, a parent of one of the students taking the exam questioned the need for the exam to be conducted under the present circumstances. She also said that even though SOPs for social distancing etc were being followed with the students, it was not the case with parents waiting outside the exam centre.

“The children have no choice, they are being forced to write the exam now. This could have taken place in December too, considering it has been postponed from May,” the parent told The Quint.

Students are being asked to come to the exam centre in a staggered manner so as to best prevent crowds from being formed.

The Quint spoke to Faiz, the brother of one of the students appearing for the exam, who said that they had travelled from Haryana’s Mewat and had started their journey on Saturday afternoon. He also said that they had originally tried to choose a centre in Gurugram but were unable to do so and therefore had to travel to the centre in Mayur Vihar.

“We must have spent Rs 800-900 on travelling so far. But the exam is important,” he said.

Earlier on Sunday, taking to Twitter, Union Minister of Education Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal conveyed his best wishes to aspirants, while expressing confidence that students would follow all health guidelines seriously.

NEET UG: 15.97 Lakh Write Exams Across 3,843 Centres on Sunday

He also thanked all state governments for making “concrete arrangements” in view of NEET.

What are the safety measures?

The National Testing Agency, which conducts NEET, has issued a series of safety guidelines for students.

  • Face masks and gloves are mandatory
  • Staggered time slots for arrival of candidates
  • The temperature of all candidates will be checked
  • Only asymptomatic candidates will be allowed entry
  • Metal detectors will be used for frisking
  • Candidates will have to show the documents to the staff from a safe distance
  • Number of candidates per room reduced from 24 to 12
Students arriving at the NEET exam centre.
Students arriving at the NEET exam centre.
(Photo: The Quint/Anthony Rozario)

Is there a dress code?

In addition to safety measures, the NTA has issued a strict dress code for students, which does not allow candidates to wear long-sleeve clothes and shoes.

Instead of covered footwear, students have been asked to wear either sandals or slippers.

In addition, heavy jewellery, watches and any other wearables are also not allowed.

Students arriving at the NEET exam centre.
Students arriving at the NEET exam centre.
(Photo: The Quint/Anthony Rozario)

What are the special arrangements made by states?

West Bengal - In view of NEET, the state has cancelled a complete lockdown that was earlier planned on 12 September and allowed metro services for students in state capital Kolkata.

Punjab - Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh had announced that there would be no curfew on Sunday, 13 September, to facilitate the movement of students appearing for NEET. Usually, the state goes into lockdown on Sundays.

Odisha - The state has announced free transportation and accommodation for students.

Special trains will be run for NEET students and their parents in Bihar and in Mumbai.

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