Overseas Centres For NEET UG 2020 Not Possible As Exam Can’t Be Held Online, NTA Tells SC

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New Delhi: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has filed a counter affidavit on Thursday, intimating the Supreme Court that it is not possible to have overseas examination centres for NEET 2020 because it is conducted in paper book format.

The submission was in response to the plea filed by parents of NEET UG 2020 entrance examination applicants and reside in Qatar. They have challenged the Kerala High Court judgment which dismissed their plea for assigning test centres for NEET in Gulf countries.

According to a report in Livelaw, the NTA duly consulted with the Medical Council of India (MCI) regarding students’ demand for overseas test centres. The MCI felt that since the examination is conducted through Multiple Choice Questions in paper book format given to all candidates, NEET (UG) exams should not be conducted in online mode for candidates abroad as uniformity has to be maintained for all candidates.

Highlighting the practical difficulty in fulfilling the students’ demands, the affidavit states: “Examination cannot be conducted abroad due to the fact, as already stated, NEET (UG) has to be conducted in single shift at the same time, on the same day to maintain uniformity and, further, the questions papers and other exam materials are to be transported from NTA headquarters to a large number of examination centres in various cities, which would require meticulous planning for safe and secured delivery of the same at the examination centres on time.”

It also stated that the “petitioners cannot plead parity with JEE (Main) exam, as the same is conducted via online mode, whereas NEET (UG) is being conducted in paperback format ever since.”

The examination is scheduled to be held on September 13. A petition has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking the postponement of both NEET as well as JEE examinations, citing the risk of COVID-19 pandemic.

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