HRD Ministry withdraws decision to conduct NEET twice a year and in online mode

A month after it announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) will be conducted online and twice a year from 2019, the government on Tuesday rolled back the decision. The exam will now be held in the pen-and-paper mode and not online. Earlier, the Indian Express had reported that the HRD Ministry’s keenness to put off any changes in the NEET’s conduct is influenced by the Health Ministry, which fears an online (read computer-based) test would put students from rural and economically poor families at a disadvantage.

The registration process for NEET 2019 will begin from November 1 and the exam will be held on May 5. However, the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) will be held twice a year.

NEET 2019: Exams on May 5, check important dates

Online registration process: November 1 to November 30, 2018

Download of admit cards: April 15

Date of examinations: May 5

Result date: June 5, 2019.

Addressing a press conference on July 6, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the newly formed NTA would now conduct national-level entrance examinations — NET, NEET, JEE (Mains) — that were organised by the CBSE. According to the examination calendar released by him, JEE (Mains) would be held in January and April, NEET was supposed to be conducted in February and May. National Eligibility Test or NET would be conducted in December.

The Health Ministry, The Indian Express has learnt, sent a letter to the HRD Ministry within three days stating that the public announcement on the NEET was made “without formal consultation” with them.

In its letter, the Health Ministry listed eight problems that it anticipated because of Javadekar’s announcement. Apart from concerns that a test in online mode would put poor and rural students at a disadvantage, the Health Ministry had a problem with the examination calendar announced for the NEET.

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