Hundreds of medical and dental seat aspirants from several parts of north Karnataka, including Ballari and Koppal, were unable to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) here on Sunday as the train by which they were travelling reached the city almost seven hours late.
While the exact number of candidates affected is not known, one student organisation claimed it could be as high as 600.
The 16591 Hampi Express, which runs from Hampi to Bengaluru via Mysuru reached Yeshwantpur railway station only at 2.36 p.m. By then, the test at centres across the city had already begun. The test was scheduled to be conducted from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Shivakumar Srinivas, a second year pre-university student from J.T. College, Gadag, who boarded the train at Hosapete last night said that he and his friends reached the centre at 3 p.m. and were not allowed to appear for the examination.
“I rushed from Yeshwantpur to my examination centre at Vidyaranyapura but not allowed inside. Because of the train delay, I will miss out on one academic year,” he said.
With the careers of so many students at stake, Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy appealed to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Railway Minister Piyush Goyal and the MHRD Minister Prakash Javadekar to intervene and ensure that students who missed the opportunity to write the test on Sunday got another chance. “The Chief Minister will pursue the matter with the Ministry of Human Resource Development on Monday. Last-minute changes at some of the examination centres and lack of proper communication of the same created confusion among students,” said senior officials at the Chief Minister’s office.
South Western Railway, in a statement, said that the train which was scheduled to depart at 6.20 p.m. on Saturday left two hours late. Officials claimed that passengers had been informed about the diversion and the rescheduling of the train on SMS.
The National Testing Agency conducts the test and declares the results and provides an “All India Rank merit list” to the Directorate General Health Service, Government of India, for the conduct of counselling for 15% All India Quota Seats and also provides results to States/other counselling authorities.