NEET 2021 candidates ask for postponement, Health Minister says no such plan
New Delhi: Although the Union Health Ministry has confirmed the Centre's stand on the conduction of NEET 2021, the demand for postponing the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is once again escalating on social media.
"The Union Government does not have any plan to suspend the NEET and other common entrance examinations. The NEET- (PG) & NEET- (UG) 2021 examinations are scheduled to be held on 11th September, 2021 and 12th September, 2021 respectively," MoS Health Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar stated in a written reply in the Lok Sabha on Friday.
"The examination shall be conducted with all due precautions and following all protocol including maintaining COVID appropriate behavior," added the Minister of State, Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare.
Medical Dialogues had earlier reported that the National Testing Agency (NTA) has recently introduced changes in the exam pattern of NEET UG this year by providing the internal choice in the question paper.
The NEET 2021 shall consist of one Question Paper containing 180 Multiple Choice Questions from Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (Botany and Zoology). However, modifying the question pattern, NTA has introduced internal choice and has divided each subject into two different sections. The revised Test pattern of NEET (UG)-2021 comprises of two Sections. Each subject will consist of two sections. Section A will consist of 35 Questions and Section B will have 15 questions, out of these 15 Questions, candidates can choose to attempt any 10 Questions.
Confused and concerned over this new pattern, the medical aspirants and their parents had already written to NTA seeking clarity on the aspects of negative marking, and demanding the immediate release of mock test papers.
Now, the students have started raising their voice via social media platforms demanding the postponement of the MBBS entrance exam. Stating that they need some time to understand the new exam pattern and also for filling up the application form, the students have started demanding deferring the exam from September to October. They have even started trending the hashtag #PostponeNEETUGtoOCT on their Twitter handles and have given a call for a Twitter campaign for the said cause on July 29.
"Sir, please reschedule the #NEET UG Exam Date after one month from the predetermined date. The exam pattern changed suddenly so we need more time to get familiar with the current pattern of the exam," wrote one student.
Another user mentioned, "question pattern is changed.. 2nd wave of #COVID19 hit hard on everyone's so we want some more time. Their is only one exam for #Medical so postpone. #PostponeNEETUGSeptToOctober."
Stating the need for a little more time another student mentioned, "#PostponeNEETUGSeptToOctober, We want postponement. We need one month more, #MannKiBaat, We need more time for form filling."
"In this pandemic give enough time for form fill up and correction window as given before. It is not good to short entire application process in this pandemic . Reshedule NEET UG 2021 to October," added another user.
Meanwhile, during a recent Lok Sabha session, Dr. T Sumathy MP asked about the details of the SoP on safety to be followed in providing life safety and health security to students, teachers and staff of educational institutions in case the Government wish to conduct examinations in schools and educational institutions in the coming months.
Replying to the query, the MoS Health Dr. Bharati Pravin Pawar informed the parliament that the examination shall be conducted with all due precautions and following all protocols including maintaining COVID appropriate behavior and confirmed that there is no such plan on the part of the Ministry to postpone NEET UG examination.
Giving details regarding the COVID protocols during the examination, the MoS added, "Further, the following additional protective measures for the candidates and examination personnel are proposed for the safe conduct of the exam:
i. The number of Examination Centers have been increased across the country to avoid crowding and long travel by the candidates.
ii. Admit cards being issued to the candidates will bear a Covid e-pass for facilitating easy movement of the candidates.
iii. Staggered entry and exit of candidates from Exam Centers.
iv. All candidates will be checked at the entry point for recording of temperature. Candidates detected with above normal temperature, will be allowed to take the examination in a separate isolation lab created for this purpose.
v. Use of face mask shall be compulsory for the candidates and they will be provided with a protective gear safety kit comprising of a face shield, a face mask and hand sanitizer.
vi. Measures will be taken to control crowd outside the examination center."