Hyderabad, Sep 13 About 50,000 students appeared for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into medical courses held on Sunday at 112 centres in Telangana amid special arrangements in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
As many as 55,800 students from the state had registered for the NEET. Final figures of the number of candidates who wrote the exam are likely to be announced later.
Though the three hour test began at 2 p.m., the students were allowed into the centre from 11 a.m. At some centres, students had started arriving around 10 a.m.
Barring a few incidents, the exam passed off smoothly. A girl student in Hanamkonda could not write the exam due to alleged negligence by the authorities.
Nikhat Fatima had reached a college as per the details of the centre on her admit card but she was shocked when the officials informed her that this was not her exam centre. The student, who had reached the town from Hyderabad to appear for the test, was seen crying. She, along with her family members, later lodged a complaint with the local police station, seeking action against the officials responsible.
At a few centres, the authorities did not follow the guidelines issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Though 12th class exam admit card was listed as the identification proof to be shown along with the NEET admit card, invigilators refused to accept them.
One such incident occurred at an exam centre at Institute of Aeronautical Engineering in Dundigul on the outskirts of Hyderabad. The invigilator sent the student out of the exam hall and insisted that he bring an Aadhaar card.
To ensure social distancing and avoid crowding, the authorities allotted different time slots for the students. The first group was asked to report at 11 a.m. However, there was no strict enforcement of the staggered timings to minimise inconvenience to the candidates.
Social distancing was also ensured in seating of the students in exam halls.
The NEET is conducted for admissions to the undergraduate MBBS/BDS courses, and other undergraduate medical courses in recognised medical/dental colleges in the country.
This year, 15,97,433 candidates from across the country applied for the test which was held at 3,842 test centres.
The NTA took special measures for the conduct of the test in view of the apprehensions voiced by some opposition parties and student groups over holding the exam amid the pandemic.
Staggered timings ensured smooth entry of students into the centres. The candidates were seen heading towards the exam halls in an orderly manner as officials kept making announcements urging them to maintain social distance.
The names of the blocks and room numbers allotted to students were displayed at different points in the premises of another centre at Dundigal to ensure that there was no crowding.
The students were made to pass through a disinfectant tunnel before the staff checked their body temperature with a thermo gun. Wearing of masks was mandatory for students. On reaching the exam hall, they were provided new masks.
Though the guidelines clearly mentioned that the frisking was be done with a metal detector attached to a long rod, students complained the staff bodily touched them.
As part of the safety measures, an isolation room was provided at every centre for those with suspected Covid symptoms. There was no confirmation if any student was found to have Covid-like symptoms.
The NTA also sought a self-declaration that says candidates do not have any symptoms or suffer from Covid or have not been in touch with a Covid-positive person.
The students were advised to carry a transparent water bottle, hand sanitiser, mask and gloves.
However, at many centres, gloves were not provided to students not wearing them.
( With inputs from IANS )
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