THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses was held at 10 districts on Sunday amid tight security and heavy restrictions. Around 1.2 lakh candidates appeared for the three-hour test at 220 centres. Though the exam was conducted smoothly at a majority of the places, minor complaints were reported from the northern part of the state. The CBSE, the official organiser of the exam, had issued strict guidelines for candidates writing the test.
This year’s exam assumed significance as many students from other states had opted for centres in Kerala. Ernakulam district saw the most number of candidates as 33,160 aspirants wrote the test at 58 centres.
Candidates were subjected to strict checking before entering the exam hall. Some parents complained about “unjustified frisking” at a centre in Kozhikode district where two female candidates were told to resize the sleeves of their shirts as only half-sleeve shirts were allowed. The centre also witnessed a protest by parents.
In Ernakulam district, a 46-year-old father of an aspirant from Tamil Nadu died of cardiac arrest. The victim has been identified as Tiruvarur native Krishnaswamy Srinivasan, who had accompanied his son Kasthuri Mahalingam to a centre at Thammanam in Kochi. “The exam was held peacefully,” said a CBSE official. “The security process was a routine one and most of the students extended full cooperation. We had informed about the dress code earlier. So, it is the responsibility of the candidates and guardians to adhere to norms.”Police personnel were pressed into service to provide tight security at exam centres. The results will be declared on June 5. All India counselling and state-wise counselling to medical and dental admissions will take place after that.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan appreciated all District Collectors and district police chiefs for ensuring the smooth conduct of the exam. The help desks set up for the candidates were quite useful, he said. In a Facebook post, he said the government has initiated efforts to take Srinivasan’s body to his hometown. State officials will accompany the body till the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border.