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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.
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The Ministry for Human Resource Development will announce the new examination dates for NEET 2020 on 5th May 2020, Press Trust of India (PTI) tweeted. New dates for JEE Main 2020 will also be announced on the same date. New dates for NEET will be announced on the official website of NEET 2020 – ntaneet.nic.in – by NTA on behalf of the HRD Ministry. The examination dates along with the release of admit cards have been postponed by NTA to ensure the safety of students amid the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The dates have been postponed till the end of May 2020 as per the official notice. Many have prospected that the dates of examination will be delayed further until June.
COVID-19 lockdown: HRD Ministry to announce fresh dates for JEE, NEET on May 5
— Press Trust of India (@PTI_News) May 3, 2020
Will students remain safe?
Soon after the tweet by PTI, users started reacting adversely towards the proposition. A large number of users were mainly concerned about the safety of students. Conducting the examinations amid the growing pandemic poses a risk to the health of a large number of students. Moreover, it is possible that the young students might infect their aged parents too, who are at a higher risk due to increased death rates amongst the aged population. There has been no word regarding what measures will be taken for the safety of everyone, but it might be possible that exam authority has already made a decision on what precautions will be taken. It is being suggested that exam authorities will sanitize exam centers while conducting exams in single shifts over a period of around 2 weeks or 14 days.
Central vs State Lockdown
Many reactions from users were regarding state lockdowns. A bigger question towards the validity of exam dates will be, whether the state government will allow conducting the examination. There have been statements from various state governments that the lockdown in respective states will be followed until the end of June. There has been no clarification on disparity among state and central government over when the lockdown should be lifted off. Moreover, state governments have the power to impose a state-wide lockdown to ensure safety during COVID-19 pandemic. It is uncertain if the exams will be conducted even before June due to this.
While many students and parents felt peace after this announcement. The announcement of dates for NEET 2020 will help students get rid of the anxiety that has been hovering around for so many days. Students will have an assurance of admissions to colleges and universities. Mental pressure due to uncertainty of admissions had been growing among candidates. This announcement will probably help ease down the tensions among students and can focus back on studies.