A month after it announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted online and twice a year from 2019, the government on Tuesday rolled back the decision. The exam will now be held in the pen-and-paper mode and not online. Earlier, the Indian Express had reported that the HRD Ministry’s keenness to put off any changes in the NEET’s conduct is influenced by the Health Ministry, which fears an online (read computer-based) test would put students from rural and economically poor families at a disadvantage.
The registration process for NEET 2019 will begin from November 1 and the exam will be held on May 5. However, the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) will be held twice a year.
NEET 2019: Exams on May 5, check important dates
Online registration process: November 1 to November 30, 2018
Download of admit cards: April 15
Date of examinations: May 5
Result date: June 5, 2019.
Addressing a press conference on July 6, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the newly formed NTA would now conduct national-level entrance examinations — NET, NEET, JEE (Mains) — that were organised by the CBSE. According to the examination calendar released by him, JEE (Mains) would be held in January and April, NEET was supposed to be conducted in February and May. National Eligibility Test or NET would be conducted in December.
The Health Ministry, The Indian Express has learnt, sent a letter to the HRD Ministry within three days stating that the public announcement on the NEET was made “without formal consultation” with them.
In its letter, the Health Ministry listed eight problems that it anticipated because of Javadekar’s announcement. Apart from concerns that a test in online mode would put poor and rural students at a disadvantage, the Health Ministry had a problem with the examination calendar announced for the NEET.
NTA is also establishing a countrywide network of test practice centres (TPCs) for students of rural areas so that everyone will have an opportunity to practice before the exam. The TPCs will have a downloaded Computer Based Test (CBT) which will be similar to the actual test to be conducted on the exam day,” the official said.
“The practice tests will help the candidates to familiarise themselves with logging into the system, going through the detailed instructions regarding the test, using the mouse or numeric keyboard on screen (virtual) for attempting each question, scrolling down to the next question, navigating between questions, reviewing and editing their options and submit questions,” he added.
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