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HRD Ministry Scraps Plan to Conduct NEET Online and Twice a Year

The National Testing Agency released schedule for exams to be between December 2018 and May 2019 on Tuesday, in which it was announced that NEET would be held on May 5, 2019, in pen-and-paper mode only.

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Updated:August 21, 2018, 6:43 PM IST
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HRD Ministry Scraps Plan to Conduct NEET Online and Twice a Year
File Photo of HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar. (Image: PTI)
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New Delhi: The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry has scrapped its plan to conduct medical entrance exam NEET online and twice a year, following recommendations from the Health Ministry.

The National Testing Agency released schedule for exams to be between December 2018 and May 2019 on Tuesday, in which it was announced that NEET would be held on May 5, 2019, in pen-and-paper mode only.

“The change in the NEET exam pattern was on the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who wanted the same pattern followed last year to be maintained,” the National Testing Agency said but did not give any reason for the request.

In July, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced the ambitious plan of conducting the medical and dental entrance exam, along with the Joint Entrance Examination - Main for admission to engineering colleges, twice a year by the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA). It was also announced that all the exams to be conducted by the NTA would be computer-based.

According to sources, the health ministry had written to the HRD Ministry and raised concerns on conducting the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) twice a year as the examination calendar may put additional pressure on the students.

It has also voiced concern about the students living in the rural areas, who may suffer if the exam is conducted only in the online mode.

While some students had welcomed the decision to hold the entrance exam twice, many other had voiced concerns, saying that holding the exam twice would mean eight different sets of question papers, which means luck would play a bigger factor.

The decision to go entirely online with the tests was also met with criticism, as it was pointed out that that many medical applicants come from villages and do not have computer literacy at par with their city-dwelling counterparts.

Registration for the NEET examination will be from November 1 to 30 this year, while the admit card will be available for download from April 15, 2019. The results will be announced on June 5, 2019, exactly a month after the exams are held, the NTA said in its Tuesday release.

The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), the NTA said, will be held twice a year as announced earlier - once in January 2019 and then in April 2019. The NTA also announced dates for the UGC-NET, CMAT and GPAT.
| Edited by: Aakarshuk Sarna
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