Curious onlookers watched the serpentine queue of youngsters in front of Axis Bank on Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai. The young men and women were waiting for the bank to open so they could get forms for the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) for medical postgraduate courses.

Curious onlookers watched the serpentine queue of youngsters in front of Axis Bank on Dr. Radhakrishnan Salai on Thursday morning.

Several in the queue were armed with data cards and laptops. The young men and women were waiting for the bank to open so they could get forms for the national eligibility-cum-entrance test (NEET) for medical postgraduate courses.

Many of them had come even before dawn to the bank, whose working hours only begin at 9 a.m.

K. Lakshman, an engineering graduate, was at the bank to buy forms on behalf of his brother, who is currently in Kerala undergoing coaching for the examination, which is to be held between November 23 and December 6.

Soon after purchasing a voucher, he entered the number on it on a website, ensuring that his brother was assured of a test centre of his choice. The vouchers are required for online registration for test centres.

The National Board of Examinations, which will conduct the NEET, has provided enough time for aspirants to buy the fee vouchers, made available at select branches of Axis Bank.

Issue of the vouchers began on Thursday and will continue until November 10. The vouchers are priced at Rs. 3,750 for those writing the test under the general category and Rs. 2,750 for those in the SC/ST category.

Arun Balaji and his classmate Mir Mohib Ali, students of Chettinad Medical College had come around 7 a.m. “Around 1.5 lakh aspirants are expected to take the test. The test will allow for a single ranking system and since there are over 20,000 PG seats in the country, we are assured of admission somewhere,” said Dr. Balaji, who got into the college on merit with a score of 96 per cent in his class XII examinations.

“The idea of a common entrance test is perfect as 50 per cent of the seats in State government institutes are reserved for service candidates. We are the creamy layer and there is hardly a chance of our getting a seat,” he added.

Dr. Ali agreed, adding “I prefer NEET.”

There were aspirants from Vellore and Puducherry also. E. Sangeetha, who had come at 9 a.m., had purchased the voucher but had difficulty registering online as her internet connection was very slow. A graduate of the Government Vellore Medical College, she wants to do an MD in paediatrics.

Ninety minutes after the bank opened the crowd had dispersed, with those who hadn’t brought laptops along with them, rushing home to register online.

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