Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal wished students appearing for the crucial National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical courses that begins today.
The minister said that like the JEE exams, students appearing for NEET will follow guidelines for precaution against Coronavirus, which has affected over 46 lakh people in the country.
"Today, I extend my best wishes to all the candidates who are appearing in the NEET examination. I am confident that even in NEET exam, students will follow the Corona guidelines like all the JEE candidates and take the exam with full patience, self-control and confidence," he said.
Mr Pokhriyal also thanked the state governments for making arrangements in compliance with the health guidelines issued by the centre.
"All the State Governments have made concrete arrangements with proper arrangements in compliance with the health guidelines issued by the Government of India and thank all the states for this. #NEET My best wishes to all," he tweeted this morning.
आज #NEET की परीक्षा में बैठ रहें सभी अभ्यर्थियों को मैं ढेर सारी शुभकामनाएं देता हूं । मुझे पूर्ण विश्वास है कि NEET की परीक्षा में भी #JEE की तरह ही सभी अभ्यर्थी कोरोना गाइडलाइन का पालन करते हुए पूर्ण धैर्य, आत्मसंयम और आत्मविश्वास के साथ परीक्षा देंगे।@PIB_India@DDNewslive- Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) September 13, 2020
More than 16 lakh students have registered for the exam which is being held at a time when the number of daily cases in the country have been nearing over a lakh.
The conduct of the NEET amid the Covid pandemic was challenged by some students and opposition-ruled states, who argued that holding these exams at this time would endanger the lives of students.
Last month the Supreme Court was petitioned to defer both NEET and the JEE (for admission to IITs) but the court said the exams could be held with strict restrictions on contact and social distancing. The JEE has already been held and results have been declared. On Wednesday the court declined to hear any further petitions on deferring NEET.
The National Testing Agency (NTA), which is in charge of conducting competitive entrance tests, has released an extensive list of guidelines for the exam like staggered reporting times and seating to ensure social distancing. Students must also wear face masks and gloves and carry their own hand sanitiser and a water bottle.