NEET may be conducted twice a year from 2021: Reports
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New Delhi, October 16: The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test for admission into medicine may be held twice a year from 2021. Vineet Joshi, director, National Testing Agency toldThe Indian Express that plans for this change are still at a preliminary stage.
This is in response to requests from students as well as teachers. “ We have received lots of communication from the students and teachers across the country and are, therefore, thinking of conducting it twice a year, like the JEE Main,” Joshi added. With the inception of NTA in 2018, NEET was supposed to be conducted twice a year in online mode. That decision was never implemented because of logistical limitations.
NEET 2020 unaffected
Putting a rest to speculations about changes in NEET 2020, Joshi stated that there will be no changes in the exam dates or exam pattern. “The exam schedule for NEET 2020 will remain unaffected. Even if we plan to conduct the medical entrance exam twice, it will happen only in 2021.” Specifics related to it like the months in which it will be conducted and the application process will be announced only after the Ministry of Health has arrived at a decision. However, after The Indian Express report, more reports emerged in other publications saying the NTA had no such plans at all.
Merits of ‘NEET- twice a year’
Since NEET will be the only medical entrance exam for admission to all the MBBS/BDS seats offered in the country, including seats in the All India Institutes of Medical Sciences, or AIIMS, and Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research, JIPMER, it should be conducted more than once. In the present system, failing to qualify or missing the exam means an entire year going waste. In 2018, Prakash Javadekar, former minister of Human Resource Development, had announced that the candidates would be able to appear for the entrance test twice and that the best score would be taken into consideration for admission. This ought to improve the number of candidates qualifying the examination if implemented in the coming years.
This year, failing to qualify NEET, three medical aspirants in Tamil Nadu committed suicide after the declaration of result. The possibility of more attempts in a year is likely to bring down the immense pressure on the candidates.
NEET 2020 is scheduled to be conducted on May 3 in pen and paper-based mode. The online registration for the same will commence on December 2, 2019. More than 15 lakh aspirants registered for NEET 2019 and with the merger of AIIMS MBBS and JIPMER MBBS with NEET, the registrations are likely to increase.
Clarification: This report has been updated to include information in more recent media reports.