The Union HRD Ministry on Friday postponed the national medical entrance exam, NEET, in view of the countrywide lockdown due to the coronavirus outbreak, officials said.
The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), whose marks are used for admission in colleges across the country, was scheduled for May 3.
The HRD Ministry's National Testing Agency (NTA) postponed the exam in view of the three-week lockdown as well as pending board exams for a few subjects.
Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' said the decision has been taken to avoid any inconvenience to students and parents who have to travel to different centres across the country to write the exam.
"In view of hardships faced by both parents and students in view of the COVID-19 epidemic, the NEET exam scheduled on May 3 has been postponed, NTA Director-General Vineet Joshi said.
He said, "We are hopeful that we would get back to normal situation relatively soon but for now various concerned ministries and examination boards are examining the scenario to evaluate situation that might necessitate any changes in schedule."
"As of now, the examination is proposed to be held in last week of May. Exact dates will be announced later after assessing the situation," Joshi said.
Since Parents and Students have to travel to different examination centres, to avoid any inconvenience to them, I have directed National Testing Agency @DG_NTA to postpone NEET (UG) 2020 and JEE(Main) till last week of May. pic.twitter.com/loji50ZQq3— Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) March 27, 2020
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 17 in the country on Friday and the number of positive coronavirus cases climbed to 724, according to the Union Health Ministry.
The government has announced a countrywide lockdown till April 14 to contain the spread of coronavirus.
Meanwhile, Vidyamandir classes, which provides coaching for engineering and medical entrance exams, is conducting its National Admission Test (NAT) online on Sunday.