NEET 2021 Online or offline, twice a year: Mounting suspense likely to be over today
New Delhi: Today might be the day that the fate of the prestigious, MBBS and BDS entrance exam NEET 2021 will be decided.
According to recent media accounts, it is highly likely that the Education Ministry will answer a few crucial questions clarifying on what is NEET 2021 exam date, application form date, will NEET be held twice and will NEET be held in online mode.
As per a TOI report, senior officials of the Ministries of Education and Health along with the entrance exam conducting body, the National Testing Agency (NTA) were scheduled to hold a meet today, i.e. Monday, January 25, 2021, to decide the possibility of conducting NEET 2021 twice and in computer-based test mode.
Since the conclusion of NEET 2020, the MBBS and BDS aspirants across the country are eagerly waiting for the National Testing Agency (NTA) to release the timetable for the entrance test for the next academic session. Moreover, the aspirants are worried about the examination pattern of the NEET 2021 while at the same anticipating major changes in its mode of conduction as well.
Last month, the NTA, the exam conducting body for NEET, was looking at the possibility of conducting the NEET exam twice a year and in online mode. If implemented, this can be a big relief for candidates seeking admission to medical colleges. Asking for the same, the NTA had written to the Ministry of Health for this and sought suggestions as to whether such a possibility exists.
NEET, National Eligibility cum Entrance Test is a big competitive exam, which is conducted once a year only on pen-paper mode for admissions to MBBS and BDS courses across the country. This year for NEET 2020, 13,66,945 students participated and over 15,97,435 candidates registered for it.
For NEET, there are two main stakeholders, NTA and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW). The syllabus is finalized by the MoHFW through an independent body. Earlier it used to be the Medical Council of India (MCI), but now that has been dissolved and hence the task falls upon the National Medical Commission (NMC). After NMC approves the syllabus, NTA takes over as the exam conducting body. The NTA role is restricted to conducting the exam, evaluating it, and declaring results.
While giving this exam, the aspirants go through a lot of stress, if the exam is conducted more than once a year, then the stress of the students will resultantly be less. Besides, this year's academic year being very chaotic due to the coronavirus epidemic and candidates faced a lot of pressure.
More so, the Union Ministry of Education had earlier decided to hold the JEE Main Examination for admissions to engineering colleges online four times in 2021. After the announcement of the JEE Main 2021 schedule, all eyes are on National Testing Agency, NTA and Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal for the announcement on NEET 2021.
The delay is evidently due to the COVID-19 pandemic and consequent postponement of Class 10th and 12th exams, but soon after the Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' made the aforesaid announcement on JEE Main 2021, many medical and dental aspirants took to Twitter to seek clarity on NEET 2021 exam dates and pattern.
As hinted earlier by the Education Minister, Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the announcement on the medical entrance exam date could be made soon. Additionally, recently the Ministry of Education has confirmed via PIB press release that the syllabus of NEET 2021 or any other national level entrance exam will not be changed. However, there may be a change in the exam pattern to ensure students with reduced syllabus are not affected.
Now that the meeting is also scheduled to be held today, it is expected that the exam date, registration date, mode of the exam and its frequency will be announced today only, altogether.
Two key points on the agenda for today's meeting, according to government sources, are whether the entrance test should shift from pen-paper mode to computer-based and conduct twice annually, reports The Times of India.
While the final decision rests with the health ministry, senior education ministry officials stated to the daily that apart from benefit to the candidates, the computer-based test would be more transparent, faster and with an easier evaluation process, and there will be no delay in the declaration of results.
The report claim that the officials have also stated that the world has moved on to CBTs, the reliability and the security of the online exams are well established, and hence it is time for NEET to embrace the online mode of examination.
Education Minister Pokhriyal has been actively engaging with students over the past months, keeping them updated with the latest exam notifications. Every time his webinar is declared, more than half a million students across the country tune into a live address broadcasted simultaneously on Facebook and Twitter with the hope that this time they might get a clue on NEET 2021 dates. The aspirants have been requesting the minister and NTA to conduct NEET 2021 two times.
@DG_NTA @DrRPNishank @MoHFW_INDIA Sir , A medical student now has just 1 chance per year after AIIMS and JIPMER are abolished..— Sahil (@ssahilgarg) January 10, 2021
Please allow us to sit in NEET 2021 Twice..
Fellow medical aspirants help this hashtag
Try trending it. #NEET2021TwoTimes #EducationMinisterGoesLive
Please announce NEET 2021 date— Chhavi (@Chhavi53949468) January 18, 2021
We don't want prosponement , but NEET 2021 twice in a year
Don't go for online mode as due to covid pandemic no coaching is open we can't practice for online paper so this year pen paper mode is best @DrRPNishank @DG_NTA
Respected @DrRPNishank Sir is requested to declare the date of # NEET 2021 as soon as possible, for students like mine who are in the exam get a chance to become an exam strategy and it will be easy for all the state government to declare board dates. @DrRPNishank @GovindDotasra— Vishal pankaj (@vishalpankajj) January 20, 2021
Sir,— Ravi Sreehari (@maddravis) January 21, 2021
Please spare sometime to declare the schedule & pattern for #NEET2021. Month of Jan 2021 is getting over. How long do the students have to wait for this announcement?
Repeated requests of NEET 2021 aspirants to release the exam dates have gone unheard as there is still no clarity over when it will be conducted by NTA. Wish @EduMinOfIndia announces the dates & Pattern of NEET 2021 soon. I still wonder what's reason of delay in announcing dates?— JAYAPRAKASH GANDHI (@jpgandhi) January 24, 2021