In a relief for engineering and medical aspirants, the HRD ministry will announce fresh dates for competitive exams –JEE and NEET– on May 5.
The exams were postponed due to nationwide lockdown announced to contain the COVID-19 spread.
“The fresh dates will be announced by HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ on May 5. This will put an end to uncertainty for the aspirants. The minister will also interact with students online the same day,” a senior ministry official said.
While Joint Entrance Exam-Mains (JEE-MAINS) is conducted for admission to engineering colleges across the country, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) is held for medical colleges.
More than 15 lakh students across the country have registered for NEET this year, which is the gateway to medical colleges in India, whereas more than 9 lakh have registered for JEE Mains, the entrance exam for all other engineering colleges except IITs.
The JEE-Mains is considered as a qualifying exam for JEE-Advanced.
The HRD Ministry’s National Testing Agency (NTA) had also given students an option to change their opted centres for the two tests as students have moved to different places since the lockdown.
Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16 when the centre announced a countrywide classroom shutdown as one of the measures to contain the COVID-19 outbreak. Later, a nationwide lockdown was announced from March 25, which was extended till May 17.
There is however, no clarity yet on when the pending board exams for class 10 and 12 will be conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE).
The board had announced that it will conduct pending exams in 29 subjects crucial for promotion and admission to higher education institutions.
The death toll due to COVID-19 rose to 1,301 and the number of cases climbed to 39,980 in the country on Sunday, according to the Union health ministry.
The number of active COVID-19 cases stood at 28,046, while 10,632 people have recovered and one patient has migrated, the ministry said.
The total number of cases include 111 foreign nationals.