NEET 2019 – As reported by Indian Express the HRD Ministry is reconsidering the decision to conduct NEET twice and continue with the offline mode at least for 2019. 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.
A month back HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted online and twice a year from 2019. Addressing a press conference on July 6, Javadekar had announced that the newly formed NTA would now conduct national- level entrance examinations — NET, NEET, JEE (Mains) — that were conducted by the CBSE previously. According to the examination calendar released by him, JEE (Mains) would be held in January and April, NEET was suppose to be conducted in February and May. National Eligibility Test or NET would be conducted in December.
The Indian Express has learnt that the Health Ministry has 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.
“It is proposed that the NTA would conduct exam in February and May. Typically, Class 12 students also appear in the Board exams during February-March period. This would suggest a continuous period of 4-5 months of exams for the students and may add to the pressure on students,” the Health Ministry’s letter states.
The letter also states that “The NTA would have to maintain a large question bank to cater to the proposed pattern of exam. With 16 sessions in a year, the bank is likely to be depleted of novelty very early. A potential misuse could be coaching centres fielding dummy candidates in every session to note the questions asked in the exam.
A meeting was held between officers of the Health and HRD ministries regarding the following and learnt to have agreed to maintain status quo, only for the NEET, till 2019.
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