Over 1.6 lakh candidates have registered from the State for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET–UG) 2021 that is set to be held on Sunday.
The examination will be conducted across nearly 325 centres in 13 ‘city centres’, viz., Alappuzha, Angamaly, Ernakulam, Idukki, Kannur, Kasaragod, Kollam, Kottayam, Kozhikode, Malappuram, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram, and Thrissur. There are no centres in Wayanad and Pathanamthitta.
Only 12 students will be accommodated in an exam hall with each being allotted an entire bench to enable effective social distancing.
The exams, being conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for admissions to MBBS, BDS, and other undergraduate medical courses, will be held from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
The number of questions has increased to 200, compared to 180 questions last year.
In the new NEET question paper pattern, each subject — Physics, Chemistry, Botany and Zoology — will consist of Sections A and B that will comprise 35 and 15 questions respectively. Examinees will be required to attempt only 10 of the 15 questions in Section B of each subject.
Regular candidates will be permitted entry to examination centres in a staggered manner from 11 a.m. to 1.30 p.m., while COVID-19-infected examinees can enter either before 11 a.m. or after 1.30 p.m.
Official sources said three isolation rooms would be set up at each centre. These will be reserved for infected candidates, those in quarantine, or displaying high temperature, and for persons with disabilities.
Meanwhile, Higher Education Minister R. Bindu has written to NTA Director General Vineet Joshi urging him to adopt necessary precautions while accommodating COVID-19-positive candidates in exam centres. The move followed complaints raised by COVID-19-infected and quarantined people regarding the arrangements that were in place.