The Odisha government has called on the National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct the All India NEET-UG 2021 examinations in all the 30 districts of the state instead of selected seven cities selected earlier by the testing organization.
In view of the current Covid-19 pandemic situation in the state, Additional Chief Secretary, Health and Family Welfare, PK Mohapatra requested NTA a letter,
The All India NEET UG Examination is conducted by the NTA for admission to MBBS/BDS courses and other undergraduate medical courses in approved/recognized Medical/Dental and other Colleges/ Institutes in India.
In a letter to NTA Director-General, Vineet Joshi on Monday, Mohapatra said the state's plea should be taken into consideration and the NEET UG examination be conducted in all 30 districts.
The NTA has notified to set up examination centres in seven urban pockets of Odisha namely in Angul, Balasore, Berhampur, Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Rourkela and Sambalpur.
In view of the Covid-19 pandemic, it will be highly unsafe for students to visit the few examination centres to physically appear for the NEET UG 2021 test. Further, due to frequent lockdown and shutdown imposed by different district administrations the transportation system is very often disrupted making the movement of student's further worse, Mohapatra mentioned in the letter.
"Odisha has got vast tribal pockets having geographically inaccessible areas and far away from the urban centres of the state for which the students of this state may be deprived of appearing the NEET UG as they will have to move long distance for appearing the test," the letter said.
Mohapatra also reminded the NTA about the March 9, 2021 meeting where the state government had raised such an issue.
(With inputs from PTI)