Despite of surge in Covid-19 cases, over 13.52 lakh students appeared for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) conducted for undergraduate medical and dental programmes on Sunday.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) conducted the test in pen and paper mode at a total of 3,862 examination centres under strict Covid-19 safety precautions across the country.
As many as 15.97 lakh medical aspirants had registered for the nationwide test.
“NTA informed me that around 85-90% students appeared in the NEET exam today,” Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said.
In a tweet, he also thanked all the chief ministers for making “proper arrangements” to facilitate student participation in the entrance test.
“NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young Atma Nirbhar Bharat,” he added. The exact number of candidates who appeared for the NEET was not available with the NTA.
"Collection of data from all examination centres will take some time because the test was conducted in pen and paper mode," an NTA official clarified.
For the candidates who could not take NEET because they were tested positive for Covid-19, the NTA will conduct a special exam to ensure that they do not miss the opportunity.
“We have asked all examination centres to provide details about such candidates so that we decide the date of conducting test for them,” the NTA official said.
Such students will have to submit medical certificate to confirm that they were Covid-19 positive when the entrance test was conducted, he added.
From this year, the NEET scores will be considered by all medical colleges including All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER) for admissions to undergraduate MBBS and BDS programmes offered by them.
Last year, Parliament had passed an amendment to the National Medical Commission (NMC) Act which provided for conduct of a single entrance test for MBBS and BDS courses offered by medical colleges across the country.
Earlier, the AIIMS, JIPMER and some other premier medical colleges conducted their own tests for admissions.
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