the National Testing Agency, based on random sampling, said that the attendance for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Undergraduate (NEET-UG) stands between 85% to 90% on Sunday. Those candidates who missed the exams after being tested positive for COVID-19 will get another opportunity to sit for the test, the date for which will be announced later.
From this year the admissions to MBBS course in the 13 All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), Jawaharlal Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education and Research (JIPMER), Puducherry will also be made through NEET following the amendment in National Medical Commission Act, 2019 passed by the Parliament last year.
In many places NTA also arranged buses and private vehicles to transfer candidates who arrived at the centres assigned to them earlier instead of the changed one.
A total of 15.97 lakh candidates registered for the test this year as against 15.13 lakh in 2019. The attendance in 2019 was 92.9%. Unlike JEE (main), NEET-UG is a pen-paper exam and NTA officials said that it will be able to compile the data on Monday after the centres send feedback after the dispatch of the OMR sheets.
“Based on random sampling the attendance is found to be between 85% to 90%, which is marginally lower than that of last year. The tests have been completed successfully,” said a senior official at the NTA headquarters in Noida.
Union minister of education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank while disclosing the figures also thanked states as many of them had arranged transport for the candidates keeping in view the difficulties due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“NTA informed me that around 85-90% of students appeared in the #NEET exam today. I sincerely thank all Chief Ministers and @DG_NTA for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation. #NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young #AtmaNirbharBharat, ” Pokhriyal said in a tweet.
He thanked all chief ministers and Director General of National Testing Agency (NTA) Vineet Joshi for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation.
“NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young,” the Union education minister said.
The NEET attendance figures are higher than the JEE (Main) attendance figure of around 74%. NTA officials have attributed this to the fact that JEE (Main) is held twice every year.
Many students who had already taken the exam in January may have decided to skip the test in September in view of the Covid-19 related concerns.