NEET 2021: Why Do Students Want Medical Entrance Exam Postponed

For months on, medical college aspirants have been demanding a delay in the national-level entrance exam National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET). The medical entrance test is scheduled to be held on September 12. This year, the exam conducting body, National Testing Agency (NTA), has introduced severe changes in the exam including holding the exam in 13 different languages, offering internal choice to students as a relief. However, none of the relaxations has seemed to work and the online protest is still on because students’ issues go beyond the pandemic and fear of catching the disease.

One of the key issues highlighted by students is that the NEET exam dates clash with that of other exams. Students even started the trend “#delayNEETUG”. NEET-UG date clashes with CBSE private exams as well as other state and national level UG entrance exams including ICAR is scheduled to be held on September 13, MHT CET 2021 will be held from September 4 to 10 and from September 14 to 20 and CoMEDK will be on September 14.

They have also cited the requirement of more time for the preparation as the new exam pattern was announced two months before the exam. As per the new scheme, 200 multiple-choice type questions will be asked from four sections- Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology. Out of 200, students will be required to answer any 180 questions. While the change in exam pattern was announced in July 2021, students have taken to social media demanding the postponement of the exam as they need some more time to get used to the new pattern.

Some states like Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand and West Bengal were hit by heavy rain and flood and the internet connectivity was hampered. Hence, several students from these regions couldn’t fill in the NEET-UG application form. They have requested to extend the application window for the same.

Another reason cited by students is the change in the paper pattern that was announced just two months before the exam. Hence, students need time to prepare according to the new exam pattern.

As the admit cards will be released three days prior to the exam, those living in remote areas might miss their paper as it will be difficult for them a arrange transport facility to reach the allotted exam venue within such a short period of time. This year, nearly 16 lakh students will take the NEET-UG exam.

The third wave of Covid-19 is likely to hit the nation and half of the aspirants are not vaccinated yet. Hence, this might cause a threat to their health. Also, the students have cited that the MBBS session will begin in February 2022, hence the exam can be feasibly conducted in October.

Students have been continuously demanding postponement by using hashtags like #PostponeNEETUG and #PostponeNEETUG2021. A student tweeted, “Postpone NEET-UG. When the JEE students’ concerns and demands can be fulfilled, why can’t one legitimate concern of the NEET aspirants be fulfilled?”

This user said, “Sir[Dharmendra Pradhan], please reschedule NEET UG. Postpone for at least 10-15 more days only, please. Sir, it’s a humble request. We are very much stressed with this clashing of all the exams together. Please postpone for few days so that NEET-UG can be conducted peacefully.”

Here are some reactions:

The examination will be conducted in pen and paper mode on a single day. There are also discussions on holding NEET twice a year. Consultations are on between the ministry of health and the ministry of education. If consultations find solid ground, it is likely that from next academic year or NEET 2022 could also be held twice a year.

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