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Though NEET 2021 is scheduled for August 1, 2021, there are chances that the exam date might get revised as the education and health ministries are reviewing the current situation.
Application forms for NEET 2021 have not been released yet, making the aspirants anxious. However, there are speculations that NTA might postpone NEET 2021. The Union Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare are in conversation regarding the final schedule for the exam. They are reviewing the current situation to decide if it is conducive to conduct a national level exam on such a large scale before finalizing the dates.
Less Time Period Left For Exam Processes
As per the last notification released in March 2021, the exam is scheduled to be conducted on August 1, 2021. However, NTA has not even released the NEET 2021 application forms yet with just a month left for the scheduled exam. Usually, the application process commences around 60 days before the exam. One month is given to the applicants for completing their registration while formalities like allotment of exam centres, issuance of admit cards, etc are done in the second month. However, just a month is left now.
A senior official from the Education Ministry said, “We are in consultation with the health ministry regarding the NEET schedule. Since it is a single-day exam, we have to be very careful about the dates. We need to review the Covid situation in the entire country before conducting the exams.”
Exam Dates Were Announced Before Second Wave
The source also said that the date of August 1 was announced back in March when the second wave had not come. But the second wave of the pandemic has led to a lot of changes and a need to review the dates has arisen. The final call on the exam date will be taken after a thorough study of the lockdown status and COVID-19 cases in all the states. He further said that the decision will be conveyed to the students soon.
Sources from the ministry have also said that if the current situation would not be conducive for conducting the national level entrance exam then last year’s pattern of conducting the exam in September might be followed. Students are advised to wait for an official notification on the same.
There was a bit of confusion with whether NEET 2021 to be conducted twice this year. But now, all this confusion has subsided with the declaration of the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare recently. According to them, NEET 2021 will be conducted twice and will be conducted on the lines of JEE Main Exam 2021.However, the schedule of the examination is not finalised yet.
NEET 2021: Why will it be conducted twice?
The Health Ministry officials recently met with their counterparts from the Education Ministry and the National Testing Agency. Various issues were discussed on – Online and Offline modes of the NEET 2021 exam and multiple sessions.
A senior official in the medical education department of the Health Ministry said – “While we felt that a large number of NEET aspirants still may not be ready for appearing in the examination in online mode, there is now a consensus on conducting the test twice this year”.
If NEET 2021 is conducted twice a year, it will allow the aspirants to be ranked on the basis of the best score out of two attempts. The same format has been followed in the JEE Main exam since last year. According to a NTA official, this format of NEET 2021 exam will destress the students and will allow them to improve upon their last score.
Last week, Mr. Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank during an interview to a TV channel, had confirmed that officials from the Education and Health Ministry had a lengthy meeting on the various issues faced by the students. They discussed the topic of NEET to be conducted twice in a year.
NEET is usually conducted in the first week of May every year. But due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it was delayed till September last year. Hence, the National Testing Agency is yet to release the dates for the exam this year. Now, aspirants are at least little relieved after knowing about this recent update on the NEET 2021 exam.
The Supreme Court of India has favoured their decision towards the benefit of many students who were affected by COVID-19 lockdown or stuck in containment zones. In its judgement, the apex court has directed National Testing Agency (NTA) to declare NEET 2020 Result on 16th October 2020.
Students who were not able to appear for NEET (UG) on 13th September due to COVID-19 or other reasons must be given the opportunity of re-exam on 14th October i.e. Wednesday.
NEET 2020 was conducted by NTA amid COVID-19 with full safety precautions and SOPs. Due to COVID-19, around 10% to 15% of approximately 16 lakh candidates were not able to take the exam. Many students who were COVID-19 positive, appeared for the exam, but were returned from the exam centres due to safety reasons.
Due to this reason, many eligible candidates have raised questions and filed a plea at the Supreme Court for re-examination. NEET (UG) is conducted in pen & paper mode, which makes it much easier to conduct within a short span of time.
Now, it is to see if NTA will be able to conduct the exam again within the stipulated time of 2 days and also release the results by 16th Oct for all the candidates. The expected cut off for NEET 2020 is also going to rise as the number of candidates have increased this year, with a much easier exam compared to previous years.
Based on the NEET 2020 Ranks, candidates will be able to take part in NEET (UG) Counselling conducted by MCC.
The verdict is out and it’s again the same. NEET 2020 will not be postponed. The complete order will be uploaded by the court which will reveal what the 3-judge bench of Supreme Court said while rejecting the review plea on postponing NEET and JEE entrance exams during COVID-19 pandemic.
The review plea was heard ‘in-chamber’ where the lawyers were not allowed to put forward any arguments on their behalf. The judges who were hearing the plea are- Justice BR Gavai, Justice Ashok Bhushan, Justice Krishna Murari.
Supreme Court rejects review plea filed to postpone the conduct of #NEET_JEE exams.
Three-judge bench says plea does not merit reconsideration #SupremeCourt #reviewplea #dismissed #jeeneetpostpone #NEETisSocial_Injustice #ExamsInCovidASuicide #speakforstudentsafety pic.twitter.com/YPdjcYRz8F
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 4, 2020
As per the recent reports, the plea was rejected as the bench said that it does not carry any merit for reconsideration. It is to note that NEET 2020 is going to be conducted in a single shift on a single day only i.e. 13th September, with almost double candidates than JEE Main 2020.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) September 4, 2020
As it is evident, the review petition has been rejected. Students who have been deprived of resources amid COVID-19 must request the authorities to ensure proper management at exam centres, so that the risk of spread of coronavirus is decreased. What events will unfold next, will decide the career of more than 15 lakh students.
While, National Testing Agency (NTA) is firm on their decision of conducting JEE Main 2020, six states who filed review petition, are firm to get NEET 2020 postponed. The hearing for the review petition will be heard by the Supreme Court of India at 1:30 PM.
The review petition has been filed on the decision taken by the Supreme Court on not postponing the NEET 2020 and JEE Main exam, specially when COVID-19 cases are rising every day by 80,000. The apex court rejected the plea citing that not conducting entrance exams will put the “Career of students at peril.”
A three-judge panel led by Justice Ashok Bushan will hear the review plea today. The plea was filed by the following opposition states-
- Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant)
- West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak)
- Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat)
- Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon),
- Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma),
- Punjab (B S Sidhu)
Dear #NEET_JEE Friends,
Tomorrow at 1.30 PM, a 3-Judge Bench led by Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan, will consider 3 Review Petitions seeking #POSTPONEJEE_NEET
Hon’ble Justice Ashok Bhushan had recently allowed States to Postpone #UGC final year Exams.
Let’s hope for the Best🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/rz1ZYAqfA1
— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) September 3, 2020
West Bengal Chief Minister, Mamta Banerjee, on Tuesday said that more than 75% students were absent for JEE Main 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. It is to be noted that JEE Main 2020 is being conducted in several shifts in a span of 6 days i.e. 1st to 6th September.
While on the other hand, NEET 2020 will be conducted in a single shift on 13th September only. Moreover, the number of candidates for NEET 2020 are much higher around 15 lakhs, while for JEE the number is only 8.5 lakhs.
As per the official website of NTA NEET (UG) 2020, the admit cards for NEET 2020 have finally been released on 26 August 2020. More than 15.9 lakh candidates have registered for NEET 2020 which will be conducted on 13th September 2020.
- Considering the safety amid COVID-19 pandemic, NTA has increased the number of NEET exam centres from 2546 to 3843.
- Numbers of candidates per room have been reduced from 24 to 12 in order to maintain social distancing.
Candidates can download the NEET 2020 Admit Card from the official website – ntaneet.nic.in
How To Download NEET Admit Card 2020?
Students have to enter their application number, password, DOB and a security pin in order to download the NEET Admit Card 2020.
The complete steps are given below-
- Open the official website – ntaneet.nic.in
- Two links will be provided to download NEET Admit Cards.
- Click on any link saying “Download Admit Card”
- A new tab will open. Enter the details such as NEET Application Number, Password, DOB and security pin (captcha).
- Click on the submit button.
- Your NEET 20202 Admit Card will appear.
- Click on Print or use the print option on your browser to save the NEET 2020 Admit Card as PDF.
- Ensure that PDF has been downloaded and stored safely.
The NEET Admit Card 2020 will have multiple details this year as mentioned in the Advisory Regarding COVID-19, published by NTA recently.
- NEET Admit Card will provide a hyperlink to check directions to the exam venue/centre.
- “Do’s and Don’ts” at the exam centre and exam halls will also be mentioned.
While registered candidates of NEET 2020 are in an unfavourable situation due to COVID-19, NTA has released the information regarding exam centre city allotted as per the preferences provided. In a public notice (dated 20th Aug 2020), NTA stated that the exam is going to be conducted as per revised schedule on 13th September 2020 without any further delay. The NEET (UG) 2020 will be conducted in a single shift of 2 PM to 5 PM only.
How To Check Your NEET Exam Centre City?
Candidates can check the same using a link provided on the official website. Complete steps are provided as below-
- Head to the official website of NEET 2020 i.e. www.ntaneet.nic.in
- Click on “Know your centre city”
- Enter the NEET Application Number and password.
- Click on ‘Login’ and you will be able to know the exam centre city allotted to you.
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This facility will urge students to request NTA in advance to change the exam centres allotted in case of any discrepancy. Moreover, students usually forget their password or application number while downloading NEET Admit Card, which can be retrieved beforehand to avoid any last minute hassles.
The students are worried and so are parents. But it seems that they have to move on. The Supreme Court of India rejected the plea demanding postponement of NEET 2020 and JEE Main 2020 exams till the normalcy is restored after the COVID-19 pandemic. Late night on 17th August 2020, the National Testing Agency (NTA) also released the ‘JEE Main April/September 2020 Admit Cards’ for candidates pretty quick after the final verdict of the Supreme Court. This could mean that NEET 2020 Admit Cards might be released soon enough.
— Bar & Bench (@barandbench) August 17, 2020
“Students Could Lose The Academic Year”
The Supreme Court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra was hearing the plea, who also announced the final verdict. Since the plea demanding postponement has been dismissed, the NEET 2020 will be held as per the revised schedule on 13th September 2020.
“Life should move on even during COVID-19. How can we just stop the exam? We must move on”, said Justice Arun Mishra over the plea demanding NEET postponement. He also said that not conducting the entrance exams will be a loss to the country. Students will lose the entire academic year and their career will be put under jeopardy.
NTA vs Students
Solicitor General, Mr Tushar Mehta, advocate for NTA, assured the SC bench that both exams will be conducted taking all necessary precautions to stop the spread of COVID-19.
While on the other hand, Advocate Alok Srivastava cited the Prime Minister’s 15th Aug speech that a vaccine for COVID-19 is coming soon. Hence, the exams need not be postponed indefinitely but only for some time until the vaccine is out.
But, the Supreme Court bench rejected the petition to postpone NEET and JEE exams. Justice Arun Mishra dismissed the plea saying that delaying the exams any further will put the ‘Career of students under peril’.
The petition filed on behalf of 11 students by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava has the following requests from students-
- Exams must be postponed as the COVID-19 cases are increasing rapidly.
- NEET exam must be conducted only after normalcy is restored post COVID-19
- Exam Centres must be increased and each district must have an exam centre to ensure students need not travel outside their city.
- Aspirants must be provided a fresh opportunity to fill the application form along with exam centre preferences from scratch.
It is being reported that NTA is considering revising the dates of NEET 2021. This is due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the delayed NEET 2020 Exam Dates. The postponing of the current year dates of NEET and JEE Main has already caused trouble with the academic calendar for students. The decision on NEET 2021 dates would be taken only after the situation of COVID-19 spread is under control and schools are set to re-open.
For now, schools and colleges are shut until 31st July 2020. There’s varying response from various authorities over reopening the schools and colleges and thereby conducting the exams that have not been conducted due to the country-wide lockdown. However, most of the universities are conducting open-book online exams which are now being seen as the new normal.
Delay in 2020, Means Delay in 2021
The dates for NEET 2020 have been postponed twice since March 2020. Considering the gap of around 2 months, it is unlikely that the COVID-19 situation in the country would come under control so soon. This could mean another delay in the NEET 2020 exams. The new date for NEET 2020 is 13th September 2020.
If that happens, it is likely that the NEET 2021 Application Forms could not be released by Nov-Dec 2020. Moreover, the possibility of conducting the JEE Main January 2021 session by NTA will also come at a halt. The dates for a lot of other exams might coincide such as CBSE Boards, NEET (UG), JEE Main and JEE Advanced. This will put pressure on authorities, as well as, hamper the performance of students in respective exams. This is also another reason why NEET 2021 dates might be shifted from the expected dates.
Another reason for this delay could be the inappropriate time for preparation. Most of the students start their preparations from class 11th. Delay in class 10th results and admissions to class 11th have caused a gap in preparations of NEET and other competitive exams. Similarly, students of class 11th and 12th are deprived of classroom education due to closure of schools and coaching institutes amid COVID-19 pandemic. This has deteriorated their preparations for the NEET 2021 examination.
In such a situation, it seems that the best option for NTA would be to postpone the dates for NEET 2021. Another relief that can be provided is a reduction in the NEET Syllabus for students, similar to the revised curriculum of CBSE, that has been released recently.
In another fake news incident, a fake public notice dated 15th June 2020 is circulating on the social media and WhatsApp forwards of parents and students. The alleged notice by NTA says that the NEET (UG) 2020 exam has been postponed till 15th August 2020. Press Information Bureau’s (PIB) Fact Check Twitter handle has tweeted that the notice is fake and not issued by NTA. Along with this, NTA also issued an advisory public notice (given below) acknowledging that a fake public notice is being circulated and that ‘stringent action would be taken against such anti-public elements’.
In the tweet by PIB’s Fact Check Twitter handle, a screenshot of the fake notice is also shared. It is clearly visible that the dates have been changed by someone. The fonts and size of the font are clearly uneven in the picture being circulated, which shows the anti-public element using a photo editing software for misleading the interested stakeholders.
Claim: A whatsapp forward of an alleged public notice by @DG_NTA is doing rounds claiming that NEET- UG has been postponed to august. #PIBFackCheck: It’s #Fake. There is no such advisory on postponing the test. Check your info only from authentic sources https://t.co/w1U5qWRsnD pic.twitter.com/o0WeCYfLKP
— PIB Fact Check (@PIBFactCheck) June 17, 2020
NTA has stated that the investigation is undergoing to catch the source of this fake notice. Such elements have an intent to misguide candidates, parents and the general public. NTA has clarified that no such decision has been taken. Students and parents must only rely on the official website of NEET (UG) 2020 – ntaneet.nic.in – for all the important updates. NTA’s Twitter page can also be followed for regular updates.
NEET 2020 was postponed by NTA due to COVID-19 pandemic and country-wide lockdown. The topmost medical exam is now scheduled for 26th July 2020 with more than 6,000 exam centres being set up to conduct the exam.