NEET 2021 to be held once a year offline, dates to be released this week, says NTA DG: Report
New Delhi: The speculations surrounding the conduction of NEET 2021 are finally over but with a major blow to the aspirants. While it has been announced that the exam dates will be released very soon, the test will only be conducted once.
Speaking to The Print, the Director-General of NTA Vineet Joshi recently confirmed that the MBBS entrance exams will be held only once this year in offline mode. The dates for the test will be finalised and released in a week.
Earlier, Amit Khare, Secretary of the Higher Education Department while hinting at the promising possibility of conducting the test twice a year, had informed that NEET 2021 is going to have no changes this year and the exam will be conducted via pen-paper mode between June-July. He said that the exam changes, on such short notice, will be unfair to students preparing for NEET 2021 and that any further delays in the exam from entry will affect the next session.
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.
With the success of conducting JEE (Main) multiple times in a year and close to 28% of the aspirants (based on the 2020 results) improving their scores in the second attempt, there has been a growing demand for the same for NEE as well.
Thus the Ministry of Education wanted the MBBS entrance exam to be held more than once a year and via online mode, but a consensus could not be reached with the Health Ministry on time, the Secretary said.
Now, putting an end to all conjectures, the NTA has clarified that the dates will be finalised this week and the exam will take place offline.
Vineet Joshi, NTA DG, confirmed to The Print on Thursday that the dates will be announced soon. "Dates for NEET will be finalised within this week," he said.
He added that the agency does not plan to conduct the exam online this year and it will be in the usual pen and paper offline mode.
Joshi further confirmed to the daily that the test will be held just once this year, "There is no point in changing the pattern at the last minute."
There had been a lot of suspense over the conduct of NEET this year. 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.
Medical Dialogues has been reporting about the updates concerning the NEET 2021 announcements. A week ago, NTA Director-General Vineet Joshi stated that the exam date will be announced by February-end, (this week) or early-March.
Earlier, the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MoHFW) had given its approval to hold the NEET two times a year, paving the way for the examinations to be organized on the lines of the JEE Main. NEET 2021 twice a year is expected to help the aspirants to be ranked based on the best of two scores if they appear for both sessions. It is the same format as followed by JEE Main last year.
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. NEET 2021 will be held for admission to 91,367 MBBS, 26,949 BDS and 52,720 AYUSH seats across India.
Ministry of Education had earlier 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.