In a big relief for the medical aspirants, it is now official that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2021 will not be held on August 1. The medical entrance exam has been postponed till further notice. The exam conducting body, National Testing Agency (NTA) in its latest circular said, that it is “still in consultation with the concerned Stakeholders for finalizing a suitable date for the conduct of NEET (UG) – 2021, keeping in view the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic".
The NTA further said that it will “soon" be making announcements regarding NEET 2021 including the dates on which the online application will be launched and the examination will be conducted. As a usual practice, the application forms are open for at least 60 days ahead of the exam. This not only gives time for students to fill the form but also the organizing agency to finalize admit card, exam centre locations etc based on the number of applications.
While students have been demanding postponement of the medical entrance exam till October, it is not known yet when the exam will be held. Earlier, a circular was floated claiming that NEET will be held on September 5. The circular, however, was fake and NTA denied finalizing dates. Last year too the exam was held in September.
Considering the NEET 2021 is a one-day exam, the NTA will have to make strict arrangements. This year, NTA has increased the number of exam centres for the JEE Main 2021 pending sessions from 660 earlier to 828 now for 6.80 lakh and 6.09 lakh candidates who registered for April and May sessions, respectively. The number of cities in which the exam will be held has also gone up from 232 to 334. Considering NEET has almost double the number of students (at least 14 lakh register for NEET every year), the number of exam centers, cities etc will have to go up for NEET as well.
Further, it is expected that the number of questions will be increased in the medical entrance exam this year to offer internal choice to students. This was announced by the Ministry of Education under the leadership of Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank who had said, “The syllabus of JEE and NEET will remain unchanged for the year 2021, unlike previous years, this year the candidates will have options to answer the questions in JEE and NEET." This was announced as most of the boards - state and central educational boards - had reduced their syllabus thus the ministry announced to allow students the flexibility to prepare as per board syllabus.