*NEET 2021 dates to be finalised this week, exam will be held offline
New Delhi: Putting an end to speculation over the dates and mode of the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (NEET) 2021, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has clarified that the dates will be finalised this week and the exam will take place offline.
The NEET exam, for admission into medical colleges, was delayed twice last year and was finally held in September. However, this year’s test is not likely to be delayed by much and, according to officials, will be held between June and July. The NTA is responsible for conducting various entrance exams, including the NEET and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE).
Vineet Joshi, director-general of the NTA, told ThePrint Thursday that the dates will be announced soon.
“Dates for NEET will be finalised within this week,” he said.
He added that the agency does not plan to conduct the exam online this year and it will be in the usual pen and paper offline mode.
The plan was to conduct NEET online, similar to the JEE meant for admission to engineering colleges, however, the government has decided not to make any changes to the NEET-UG exam pattern this year.
No plans to hold NEET twice this year
The ministries of health and education had also been contemplating holding NEET twice annually from this year, however, the plan has been shelved for now.
Joshi confirmed that the test will be held just once this year, “There is no point in changing the pattern at the last minute.”
A meeting between officials of the health and education ministries was held last week, where no consensus could be reached regarding conducting the exam twice a year.
Officials felt that making any changes to the NEET pattern at this point will be unfair to the students and will put additional burden on them.
Students get two chances every year for JEE, but the medical entrance exam continues to be held once.
More than 10 lakh candidates on an average appear for the test. For NEET 2020, 16 lakh candidates had registered, out of which 13.5 lakh appeared for the test.