The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical and dental courses will be held on July 26, while the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main for admission to engineering courses will begin on July 18 and continue from July 20 to 23, Human Resource Development MInister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said on Tuesday.
The JEE-Advanced examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) will be held in August, and the exact dates will be announced soon, Mr. Pokhriyal said, in an interaction with students via Twitter. The dates for the University Grants Commission-National Eligibility Test, for admission to Ph.D programmes and employment as an assistant professor, will also be announced soon. All four national examinations had been postponed due to the COVID-19 crisis and ongoing lockdown.
Before these admission examinations can be held, the Class XII Board examinations must be completed. Mr. Pokhriyal said the dates for the Central Board of Secondary Education’s (CBSE) pending Class X and XII Board exams would be announced soon, with the decision likely in the next couple of days.
For students worried about the loss of classroom teaching during the lockdown, Mr. Pokhriyal assured them that the CBSE will assess the loss of instructional time for proportionate reduction in curriculum load for the 2021 Board exams. The Board’s Course Committees have already started work on drafting reduced syllabus for various scenarios, depending on how much longer the shutdown of schools continues. He added that the Centre was making efforts to disseminate academic content via television and other modes for students in rural areas where online connectivity is problematic.
No fee hike
Apart from academic loss, the pandemic crisis has also caused financial distress for many. In such a situation, Mr. Pokhriyal assured students that IITs, IIITs (Indian Institute of Information Technology) and NITs (National Insitute of Technology) had all been directed not to increase fees for the next academic year 2020-21. He had earlier appealed to private schools to consider not hiking fees as well.
With the Centre allowing the travel of stranded migrants this week, students of the fully residential Central government-run Navodaya Vidyalayas are also on their way back to their homes. Students from 62 schools where the migration process is underway are being supported with food and other facilities en route, said Mr. Pokhriyal.