Students arriving to attend NEET 2020, amid the COVID-19 pandemic, at a centre in Bengaluru on Sunday.  

NEET conducted with preventive measures in place


The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) was conducted across the State on Sunday, much to the relief of over a lakh students hoping to get into a college for undergraduate medical courses including MBBS and BDS.

Relieved faces after writing the exams and hundreds of parents eagerly waiting was a common sight at many centres in the city on Sunday evening. This year’s exam was held amidst surging COVID-19 cases, presenting a challenge to all stakeholders.

A pen-and-paper based exam, NEET was conducted in over 80 centres in Bengaluru and around 298 centres across the State. According to the National Testing Agency (NTA), the body that conducted the exam, around 1,19,587 candidates had applied for the exam.

Speaking to The Hindu, a coordinator from NTA, said that the exam was conducted successfully and the NTA had taken all COVID-19 preventive measures, including ensuring social distancing, crowd management and staggered entry. “The exam began at 2 p.m. but the entry to the exam centres began at 11 a.m itself and there was staggered entry,” the coordinator said.

Students, who finally got to write the exam after it was postponed twice, said that they were all relieved and were waiting for results. “We are finally done with the exam. It was scheduled to be held on May 3 but was postponed to July 26 and again to September 13. Due to this, there was a lot pressure and tension. Now that the exam is over, I can breathe easy,” a student said.

Inder K. (name changed), a candidate from Kolar, who attempted the exam in the city, said that the biology paper was easy and physics and chemistry papers were moderately difficult. “I think the cut off might be quite high. Though we had plenty of time to prepare, uncertainty over the dates of the exam and the general fear of COVID-19 around made it difficult to focus,” he said.

Students at all the centres were provided with masks while writing the exam and at some centres even water bottles and biscuit packets were provided.

The NTA has also increased the number of centres in the State from 194 in 2019 to 298 this year. As many as 1,15,882 candidates had registered for NEET in 2019.