The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be held today. States have announced special measures for conduct of NEET examination amid the Covid pandemic, including easing of restrictions and transportation. Over 15 lakh candidates are expected to appear in medical entrance exam NEET. The crucial National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which is a pen and paper based test unlike engineering entrance exam JEE, has already been deferred twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

1) In order to maintain social distancing, the NTA has increased the number of exam centres from originally-planned 2,546 to 3,843, while the number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12. A staggered entry and exit of candidates has been planned.

2) A total of 15.97 lakh candidates have registered for the exam.

3) Candidates have also been issued an advisory guiding them about the ‘dos and don’ts’ for proper social distancing.

4) Making hand sanitisers available at the entrance of the examination centre and inside the exam hall at all times, replacing the process of checking the admit cards of candidates with barcode readers, increasing the number of examination centres, alternate seating plans, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the NTA has taken.

5) The governments of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have assured students that they will provide them transportation, a group of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumni and students have launched a portal to provide transport facilities to exam centres for the candidates in need.

6) States have announced measures to assist those appearing for the exam. West Bengal has cancelled the Covid lockdown scheduled for the day and will operate special Metro services in Kolkata for NEET candidates on September 13 to help them reach their examination centres.

7)Punjab has lifted its weekend curfew to facilitate free movement of students appearing for the NEET exam.

8) Two Tamil Nadu NEET candidates died by suicide on Saturday, state police said.

9) The exam was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26, and then to September 13.

10) The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the exam amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases, saying a “precious year” of students cannot be wasted and life has to go on.

(Courtesy NDTV)