NEET 2020: 85-90% of over 15 lakh students take exam amid Covid-19 concerns
Of the more than 1.5 million candidates, who had registered for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), around 85 to 90% of students appeared for the examination on Sunday.
Union minister of education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank while disclosing the figures also thanked states as many of them had arranged transport for the candidates keeping in view the difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“NTA informed me that around 85-90% of students appeared in the #NEET exam today. I sincerely thank all Chief Ministers and @DG_NTA for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation. #NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young #AtmaNirbharBharat, ” Pokhriyal said in a tweet.
He thanked all chief ministers and Director General of National Testing Agency (NTA) Vineet Joshi for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation.
“NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young,” the Union education minister said.
The NEET attendance figures are higher than the JEE (Main) attendance figure of around 74%. NTA officials have attributed this to the fact that JEE (Main) is held twice every year.
Many students who had already taken the exam in January may have decided to skip the test in September in view of the Covid-19 related concerns.
Holding the NEET exam was a bigger challenge than the engineering entrance test JEE (Main) because the number of candidates is much bigger. Over 15 lakh students have registered for the NEET exam which is to be held in one day. The JEE was held from September 1 to 6 and the number of candidates was lesser, over 8 lakh.
To maintain social distancing, the NTA 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.
National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which is a pen and paper-based test unlike JEE, which is a computer-based test. The NTA has made elaborate arrangements to ensure social distancing during the exam.
The Centre’s decision to conduct the NEET the JEE exam had attracted much criticism from several opposition leaders who questioned the wisdom of the move when the pandemic Covid-19 continued to rage. The Union Education Ministry has, however, emphasized that not holding the test could lead to a zero year, which would not be in students’ interest.