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NEET turnout 85-90%: Minister

Ramesh Pokhriyal holds up data as an example of 'Aatmanirbhar Bharat'

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 14.09.20, 01:53 AM
Candidates stand in a queue outside an examination centre before appearing in NEET in Vijayawada on Sunday

Candidates stand in a queue outside an examination centre before appearing in NEET in Vijayawada on Sunday PTI

Around 85 to 90 per cent candidates appeared for undergraduate medical entrance exam NEET on Sunday, the education minister announced and held this up as an example of “Aatmanirbhar Bharat”.

The turnout had been 92.85 per cent in 2019 and 95.7 per cent in 2018.


“NTA (National Testing Agency) informed me that around 85-90% students appeared in #NEET exam today. I sincerely thank all Chief Ministers and @DG_NTA for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation. #NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of young #AtmaNirbharBharat,” education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal tweeted.

Students, teachers, politicians and activists had urged the government not to go ahead with the NEET and engineering entrance test JEE Main amid the pandemic and held protests across the country. The government, however, pushed ahead with its plan and the Supreme Court rejected pleas to defer the exams.

The move triggered a campaign to “dislike” social media content of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, with a video where he extolled the cause of Aatmanirbhar Bharat bearing the maximum brunt.

On Sunday, the NTA conducted the NEET for admission to MBBS and BDS courses at 3,862 centres across the country. Around 15.97 lakh students had registered for the test. There are nearly 80,000 medical seats.

The NTA last week conducted the Joint Entrance Examination Main, which witnessed a 74 per cent turnout, much less than the attendance of well over 90 per cent in the previous two editions.

According to figures tweeted by Pokhriyal, about 8.58 lakh candidates had applied for the exam but only 6.35 lakh — 74 per cent — turned up.

However, unlike in engineering, the NEET is the only entrance exam for undergraduate medical courses and is held once a year. The JEE Main is held twice a year, and there are several other state-level engineering entrance exams as well.

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