Till Monday, 178 candidates had submitted the required documents to be eligible for NEET. Till noon on Tuesday, the number had hardly moved. A senior official from National Testing Agency (NTA) said, “Number is very less. I believe, it’s fewer than 200.” Applications were being accepted till 2pm and final tally could not be confirmed till the time of going to press.
Actually, the number of candidates will be much less than the support staff at many centres. With Nagpur having just three candidates, the NTA appointed staff plus school personnel will outnumber them by three.
Considering that over 20,000 appeared for NEET in Nagpur barely a month ago, this one won’t bother NTA too much. Since exam centre staff is barred from speaking to the media, they did not respond to queries.
However, sources said same Covid-19 safety guidelines will be followed. All three candidates have submitted a health certificate to prove their Covid-19-free status. Also with such a negligible number of candidates, there are no concerns over social distancing.
One of the candidates in Nagpur said she was happy at the ‘closure’. “It had been an extremely long wait. Exam had been delayed for months and when finally the dates were announced, I had become Covid positive. Though I was asymptomatic, entry had been denied because I mentioned my health status in the mandatory undertaking. I was told that another exam will be taken for students like me,” said the candidate.
She kept communicating with NTA through email, and submitted her health certificate online after recovering. “Then within hours after Monday’s Supreme Court order, I received an email from NTA confirming my seat. I also got a call from their office regarding the same,” said the candidate, who did not wish to be named.
The pen-paper exam will be held from 2pm-5pm in its usual MCQ format. NEET results for all candidates will be declared on Friday.