The conduct of the NEET amid the Covid pandemic was challenged by some students
The conduct of the NEET amid the Covid pandemic was challenged by some students and opposition-ruled states, who argued that holding these exams at this time would endanger the lives of students.
September 13, 2020 6:07 am IST
States have announced measures to assist those appearing for the exam. (Representational)
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) – for admission to medical courses across the country – will be held today. States have announced special measures, including easing of restrictions and transportation. The conduct of the NEET amid the Covid pandemic was challenged by some students and opposition-ruled states, who argued that holding these exams at this time would endanger the lives of students. Last month the Supreme Court was petitioned to defer both NEET and the JEE (for admission to IITs) but the court said the exams could be held with strict restrictions on contact and social distancing. The JEE has already been held and results have been declared. On Wednesday the court declined to hear any further petitions on deferring NEET.
As directed by the top court and centre, the National Testing Agency (NTA), which is in charge of conducting competitive entrance tests, has released an extensive list of guidelines for the exam. These include staggered reporting times and seating to ensure social distancing. Students must also wear face masks and gloves and carry their own hand sanitiser and a water bottle.
There will be “isolation rooms” for candidates whose body temperature is above the prescribed limit. The NTA has also sought a self-declaration that says candidates do not have any symptoms or suffer from Covid or have not been in touch with a Covid-positive person.
Nearly 2.3 lakh students have registered for NEET in Maharashtra alone, which is the state worst-affected by the Covid pandemic. Around 1.67 lakh students will take the exam in Uttar Pradesh, while Karnataka has around 1.19 lakh students, Tamil Nadu has 1.18 lakh and Kerala 1.16 lakh. Together these states account for over 8.57 lakh NEET aspirants. Overall, more than 16 lakh students have registered for this exam.
States have announced measures to assist those appearing for the exam. Bengal has cancelled the Covid lockdown scheduled for the day and will operate special Metro services in Kolkata for students. Punjab has lifted its weekend curfew, although non-essential services will remain closed. The two states, combined, have nearly 90,000 aspirants.