The Human Resource Development (HRD) Ministry may reconsider its decision to conduct medical entrance exam NEET twice a year, following recommendations from the Health Ministry. The Health Ministry has written to the HRD Ministry, raising concerns on conducting the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) twice a year as the examination calendar may put additional pressure on the students.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced the ambitious plan of conducting the medical and dental entrance exam, along with the Joint Entrance Examination – Main for admission to engineering colleges, twice a year by the newly-formed National Testing Agency (NTA). Last week, during the question hour in parliament, he clarified that the medical and engineering exams will be conducted in computer based mode, not in online mode. The students will have to reply on already downloaded answer sheets using a computer mouse. The minister said the government is also considering to allow students take the test using paper answer sheets during the transitional first year.

The Health Ministry has raised concerns for the students living in the rural areas, who may suffer if the exam is conducted only in the online mode. However, no final decision has been taken in this regard. The ministry has also announced the tentative dates for the exams, according to which, the NEETUG is scheduled for February, 2019 with a repeat in May, 2019.

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