NEW DELHI: Starting this year, the National Entrance-cum-Eligibility Test (NEET) will be conducted twice as the Union Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has given a green signal for the same, paving the way for the examinations to be organised on the lines of the Joint Entrance Examination (Main).
The examination schedule for the test -- the entrance examination for medical, dental and several other related institutions -- however, is still to be finalised.
Health Ministry officials said in a recent meeting with their counterparts in from the Education Ministry and the National Testing Agency -- which has been organising the test since last year -- issues including online and offline modes of examination and multiple sessions were discussed.
“While we felt that a large number of NEET aspirants still may not be ready for appearing in the examination in online mode, there is now a consensus on conducting the test twice this year,” said a senior official in the medical education department of the Health Ministry.
The twice a year format will allow students to be ranked on the basis of the best of the two scores if they take the test twice. The same format had been adopted in JEE(Main) since last year.
“The idea is to reduce the stress on the students and allow them to better their scores,” another official in the NTA said.
Last week, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhariyal Nishank, in an interview to a TV channel, had said that officials from his and health ministry had interacted recently and there is a possibility of the exam being conducted twice with giving students an additional attempt being actively discussed.
NEET, usually conducted in the first week of May every year, had been pushed to September last year amid strict precautions in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The NTA is yet to publish the dates for the test this year, in which over 10 lakh students appear despite its dwindling popularity over the years and rising number of MBBS seats.