– Dipta Joshi
Students scheduled to appear for the online National eligibility cum entrance test (NEET) post graduate (PG) exams on April 18 continue to demand postponement of exams despite the National Board of Examinations (NBE) confirming it (exams) will be held as scheduled. Following the directions of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, the NBE which conducts online NEET PG exams across India, had issued a notice (April 13) saying exams would be conducted as scheduled while “complying with all the standard operating procedures (SOPs) issued by the ministry regarding the conduct of examinations.” The NBE also released examination admit cards on the same day.
However aspiring students keen on garnering support in their demand to postpone exams in light of the rising COVID-19 cases continued to use social media platforms to air their complaints. Asking for a deferment until the second wave of the pandemic subsides, ‘#postponeneetpg2021’ and ‘#postponeneetpg’ have continued to trend on twitter and 5630 students have signed a petition on change.org that reads, “In the current situation where there is second wave of pandemic going on, most of the NEET PG aspiring students have to travel far to write the NEET PG 2021 exam…if the exam is held it not only is a risk to the students but also their parents and family members.”
The annually conducted NEET PG exams shortlists MD (doctor of medicine)/ MS (master in surgery) and PG Diploma course candidates on the basis of their examination scores. This year, as many as 1,74,000 students have applied for the 54,409 MD/MS and diploma seats and many NEET aspirants who were unable to register for online examination centres within their home state were forced to opt for centres in other states.
“The pandemic situation has worsened since February 23 when we registered for the examination centres. We don’t want to miss writing the exams but are worried about traveling to states that are recording high number of COVID-19 patients and announcing ‘break-the-chain’ lockdowns. Why would the NBE want us to travel to these states at such a time. In some states like Chhattisgarh, officials have refused to give leave to the doctors to appear for the NEET PG exams. Why is the NBE and government taking note of our plight,” says an aspirant who prefers to remain anonymous. The students say the least the NBE could do is allow students the option to reallocate their centres within the home state thus involving minimum travel.
Meanwhile the NBE is confident of pulling off the examinations successfully following COVID-19 appropriate protocols and the additional use of protective gear it will provide candidates. According to the examination guidelines issued by the NBE, all students will be given five hand sanitiser sachets, a face shield and a face mask which will have to be worn at all times. Aspirants have also been asked to download the NBE provided ‘E-pass’ along with the admit cards to allow them travel even in areas with travel restrictions. Students have also been allotted time slots for reporting at the centres to allow staggered entry at the exam centres.
NEET PG candidates answer 200 multiple-choice questions in 3 hours 30 minutes. The results will be announced by May 31.
Also read:National, News