NEET-PG deferred amid Covid spike, date to be fixed later
- Postponement comes days ahead of the exam for admission to master’s courses
The Union government on Thursday postponed the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (postgraduate) for admission to master’s programmes at most private and government medical colleges in the country.
The NEET-PG postponement came three days ahead of the scheduled exam date amid rising coronavirus cases in the country.
“In light of the surge in #COVID19 cases, GoI (Government of India) has decided to postpone NEETPG2021 exam, which was earlier scheduled to be held on April 18. Next date to be decided later,” heath minister Harsh Vardhan tweeted on Thursday.
“Decision has been taken keeping well-being of our young medical students in mind,” Vardhan added. Soon after, the Union health ministry issued a notification reiterating the minister’s announcement.
Unlike the NEET-UG exam which is conducted by the national testing agency (NTA) of the education ministry, the NEET-PG exam is administered by the national board of exams (NBE), a body under the health ministry. The NBE conducts the NEET-PG exam on a computer-based platform from over 250 exam centres. The process for it was on since the last week of February. Last year, more than 160,000 doctors sat for the exam seeking admission to various MD (Doctor of Medicine), MS (master’s in surgery) and PG diploma courses across the country.
The NEET-PG is a single-window entrance for PG courses in medical colleges and “no State Government/Private Medical college/Universities shall be conducting any separate entrance for admission to their MD/MS/PG Diploma Courses for the admission session 2021”, as per official entrance documents of the government.
But, medical institutions which are not covered by centralised admissions for MD/MS seats through NEET- PG 2021 include All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi and in states, Post Graduate Institute (PGI) Chandigarh, JIPMER in Puducherry, NIMHANS in Bengaluru and the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram.
While the NEET-PG exam has been postponed, NEET (UG) entrance rescheduling may not happen as it is slated for August 1. The NEET (UG) 2021 is going to be conducted by the NTA for admission to course such as MBBS and BDS, among others.
The surging cases of coronavirus have pushed both central and state government to rethink exams ahead of the peak school and higher education entrance season.
The central government-run CBSE cancelled the Class 10 board exams and deferred them for Class 12. Similarly, at least nine other school boards including state boards of Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat, Punjab, Haryana, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh have either postponed or cancelled board exams. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Board has also cancelled Class 12 exams for its affiliated schools in India.