In line with the JEE Main, the medical entrance exam – NEET 2021 would have more internal choice. This has been done to ensure that the students who have prepared on the basis of the reduced syllabus – as prescribed by most boards including CBSE – are not at a disadvantage. However, there will not be any syllabus cut for the NEET 2021.
Ever since Education Minister Ramesh Pokhryal Nishnak virtually replied to a Kendriya Vidyalaya student on Monday, there has been a buzz about the NEET syllabus being reduced. However, the minister had instead hinted at a change in pattern. “As the curriculum (for board exams) was cut by 30 per cent due to Covid-19, therefore in the upcoming competitive examinations like JEE and NEET this year the candidates will have more options to answer the questions,” he had said.
“The exact pattern for NEET (UG) 2021 is yet to be announced. However, in view of the reduction of the syllabus by some boards across the country, the NEET (UG) 2021 question paper will also have options on the lines of JEE (Main),” an official statement from the ministry read.
Last month, a high-level meeting chaired by the Minister of Education, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank had said that the “NTA will come out with the syllabus for competitive examinations after assessment of the existing scenario in various boards”. The NTA then had decided against the reduction of the syllabus of competitive exams and instead announced more internal choice.
Not only the number of attempts for JEE Main have been doubled but also there have been internal choices. The same is expected for NEET as well. Being a pen-and-paper exam as well as having a large number of candidates appearing for the exam on one given day, there are more challenges of conducting NEET in a pandemic as compared to JEE Main.
For NEET, it was reported that the NTA had written to the Ministry of Health and asked if the same can be conducted twice. Last year too, after the apex court’s order, NTA had to hold NEET twice. The officials, however, denied giving any confirmation on this. The exam is usually held in May and students are eagerly awaiting a notification and some clarity.
From 2020 onwards, in NEET counselling five extra seats are reserved for children of Kashmiri migrants as well as Kashmiri pandits or Hindu families who are living in the Valley will get concessions in college admissions. Students will get relaxation in cut-off up to 10 per cent as well as the number of seats will be increased up to 5 per cent in each course for them.
Further, the government had also approved to reserve five MBBS seats under the central pool for children of Covid warriors, introducing a new category called ‘wards of Covid warriors’ for the academic year 2020-21.