NTA will conduct the NEET-UG exam on 26 July. With this announcement, the National Testing Agency is at a crossroads to administer the pen and paper exam for around 15 lakh aspirants while conforming to the norms of social distancing amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
As NEET-UG is a pen and paper-based exam, it is conducted all around the country at the same time, unlike JEE Main and JEE Advanced, that are conducted online and in multiple shifts. To resolve this issue, NTA is planning to conduct the exam at around 6000 exam centers contrary to the 3000 centers for normal conditions. This plan will enable a minimum of 2 metres distance between two students. Usually, Kendra Vidyalayas, CBSE-affiliated schools, engineering colleges and state government colleges are chosen for the exam. It will be challenging for the agency to figure out additional 3000 exam centers in a limited time.
Furthermore, NTA is also planning on increasing the number of shifts and add around 200 more exam centers to maintain social distancing for JEE Main. As for JEE Advanced, the exam will be conducted in 600 exam centers as the number of students qualifying for the exam is estimated to be only 2 lakhs.