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NEET-PG exam deferred till 31 Aug, candidates may be deployed for covid duty

More than 1,60,000 MBBS doctors last year had taken the exam, seeking admission to various MD (Doctor of Medicine), MS (Master's in Surgery) and PG Diploma courses. (Photo: iStocK)Premium
More than 1,60,000 MBBS doctors last year had taken the exam, seeking admission to various MD (Doctor of Medicine), MS (Master's in Surgery) and PG Diploma courses. (Photo: iStocK)

  • India is battling a massive surge in covid cases, with daily additions at over 3,00,000. Over the past 24 hours, the country recorded 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections, taking the total caseload to 1,99,25,604

NEW DELHI: The union government on Monday postponed till at least 31 August the National Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (postgraduate), while allowing central and state authorities to deploy candidates for covid-19 duty.

NEET-PG entrance is a gateway for admission to Masters' programmes at most private and government medical colleges in the country.

“A decision was taken to postpone NEET-PG for at least 4 months and the exams will not be held before 31st August 2021. Students will also be given at least one month of time after announcement of exam before it is conducted," the PMO said after a review meeting.

This will make available a large number of qualified MBBS doctors for Covid duties, the government said. More than 1,60,000 MBBS doctors last year had taken the exam, seeking admission to various MD (Doctor of Medicine), MS (Master's in Surgery) and PG Diploma courses.

The Centre also said states and union territory governments should make all efforts to reach out to NEET (PG) candidates and “request them to join the Covid-19 workforce in this hour of need. The services of these MBBS doctors can be utilized in the management of Covid-19".

On 15 April, union health minister Harsh Vardhan had announced the deferment of NEET-PG exams, three days ahead of its schedule but there was no clarity about how long this postponement will be.

Unlike the NEET-UG exam which is conducted by the national testing agency (NTA) of the education ministry, NEET-PG exam is administered by national board of exam (NBE), a body under the health ministry. NBE conducts NEET-PG exam on a computer-based platform from over 250 exam centres. The process for it was on since last week of February.

NEET PG is a single window entrance for PG courses in medical colleges and “no State Government/Private Medical college/Universities shall be conducting any separate entrance for admission to their MD/MS/PG Diploma Courses for the admission session 2021," as per official entrance documents.

But medical institutions which are not covered by centralised admissions for MD/MS seats through NEET- PG 2021 are All India Institutes of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) in Delhi and in states, Post Graduate Institute (PGI) Chandigarh, JIPMER in Puducherry, NIMHANS in Bengaluru and the Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences and Technology in Thiruvananthapuram. The entrance for these top institutions too was deferred late last month.

India is battling a massive surge in covid cases, with daily additions at over 3,00,000 and thousands of fatalities. Over the past 24 hours, the country recorded 3,68,147 new coronavirus infections, taking the total caseload to 1,99,25,604,

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