NEET 2020: NTA to double test centres, adopt social distancing norms to hold exams during COVID-19

By: |
May 7, 2020 6:29 PM

Typically, NTA prefers to make Kendriya Vidyalayas, CBSE affiliated schools, engineering colleges and colleges of state government (in that order of preference) as NEET test centers.

NEET is a pen-and-paper test and the tests are the sole requirement for admission to any of the country’s undergraduate medical programmes.

NEET 2020: Administering the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for 15 lakh candidates in the midst of a pandemic is expected to become the Union government’s biggest and most demanding exercise in management of exams. HRD Ministry has asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to double the number of test centers to preserve social distance during the study, reported The Indian Express.

Following government orders, the NTA is now planning to seat two candidates two meters apart, meaning that approximately 6,000 test centers would be required to accommodate 15 lakh NEET aspirants, as opposed to the originally planned 3,000. Two candidates were typically seated within a distance of one meter until last year.

NEET is a pen-and-paper test and the tests are the sole requirement for admission to any of the country’s undergraduate medical programmes. NEET, originally scheduled for May 3, will now be held on July 26. The number of test centers for NEET this year will be a record of sorts, a senior NTA officer told The Indian Express on the condition of anonymity.

Typically, NTA prefers to make Kendriya Vidyalayas, CBSE affiliated schools, engineering colleges and colleges of state government (in that order of preference) as NEET test centers.

Unlike NEET, the NTA does not have to boost dramatically the number of JEE (Main) test centers that will be held from July 18 to 23. JEE (Main), which is the single-window exam for admission to NITs, is held online over many days and in several changes.

What makes NEET’s task more difficult than other entrance exams in the COVID-19 outbreak is that it is a pen-and-paper test. A pen-and-paper test means that candidates will only have one question paper, and the NTA has to do it all over the world in a single change in one day. Therefore, to achieve all of this, NTA needs to increase the number of test centers and adopt social distancing norms.

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