Over 15 lakh aspirants expected to take NEET today
New Delhi: The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), for admissions to medical seats in the country will be held today. Over 15 lakh candidates are expected to appear for the exam which will be conducted amid strict precautions in view of the COVID1-9 pandemic.
In order to maintain social distancing, the National Testing Agency has increased the number of exam centres from originally-planned 2,546 to 3,843, while the number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12.
The pen and paper test has already been deferred twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. The exam was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26, and then to September 13.
A total of 15.97 lakh candidates have registered for the exam.
Making hand sanitisers available at the entrance of the examination centre and inside the exam hall at all times, replacing the process of checking the admit cards of candidates with barcode readers, increasing the number of examination centres, alternate seating plans, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the NTA has taken.
Isolation rooms will be provided for candidates whose body temperature is above the prescribed limit. The NTA has also sought a self-declaration that says candidates do not have any symptoms or suffer from Covid or have not been in touch with a Covid-positive person.
"While all the candidates will be asked to come to the exam centres with masks and sanitisers, once they enter the centre, they will have to use the masks provided by the examination authority.
"Each candidate will be offered a three-ply mask at the time of entry and are expected to wear the same during the examination in order to avoid any form of unfair means at the time of examination," an official said.
There has been a growing chorus for postponing the exams amid the rising number of COVID-19 cases.
The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the exam amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases, saying a "precious year" of students cannot be wasted and life has to go on.
(With inputs from PTI)