Gaja effect: Will NEET application deadline be extended?

Chennai: With just four days left for the deadline to apply for NEET (UG) Р2019, students in the delta districts are in trouble as they do not have access to Internet to apply for the competitive examination.

Medical aspirants of eight districts in central Tamilnadu became victims of Cyclone Gaja and most of them have lost their house, properties and their families, their livelihood.

Considering the past records of deadline extensions given for competitive examinations, educationists hope for a similar action from the National Testing Agency (NTA) that conducts NEET.

The last date to apply for NEET (UG) – 2019 is 30 November 2018.

SCHEDULE

As per the current schedule, NEET (UG) – 2019 will be conducted Sunday, 5 May 2019. The responsibility of NTA is limited to the conduct of the entrance examination, declaration of results and for providing an ‘all India rank merit list’ to the Directorate General Health Service, Government of India, for the conduct of counselling for 15 per cent of all India quota seats and for supplying the result to States/other counselling authorities.

“When it comes to conducting the entrance examination, it is their responsibility to reschedule any date that is related to the examination,” said P Velusamy, headmaster of a Government Higher Secondary School in the city. He also says that a lot of exams in the past have had their deadlines extended.

CAUGHT IN PINCER

However, a renowned educationist from the State, Prince Gajendra Babu, said, “We are already opposing NEET. If we ask for a deadline extension now, it will mean that we are accepting NEET.”

According to Prince, there will surely be an extension of the deadline. “But the problem is, what is the use of an extension when not even a score of students from the delta districts are going to benefit from it as the examination system itself is unjustifiable and is conducted in the same way for students from different level?” he said, and added, “It is the students and people of the delta districts who have to decide this.”

IN LIMBO

When News Today spoke to a plus-two Biology group student, G Thangavel, from Naadiyam, near Pattukkottai in Thanjavur district, who lost all his certificates and ID proof in the cyclone, he said, “My SSLC certificate, address proof and every other proof of residence is lost. In this situation, how do you think I can apply for any competitive examination?”

Thangavel also said, his village was one of the worst affected places in the cyclone. “We have no power supply for the last 15 days. And, even if we can arrange for a generator, there is not proper Internet connectivity to reach the website of NTA. Since our area is badly affected, roads are also not accessible for us to travel to the nearest town,” he said anxiously.

It is said at least 12 lakh people have taken shelter in government relief camps across the delta districts, apart from a number of people in self-raised camps. At an approximate estimate, 1.5 crore people of the State are directly or indirectly affected by the devastating cyclone.

POSTPONEMENTS IN THE PAST

1. ICAI CA – 2019 – Kerala floods
2. IIT JEE – 2013 – Uttarakhand floods
3. AIPMT – 2013 – Uttarakhand floods
4. CAT – 2013 – Uttarakhand floods
5. GATE – 2013 – Uttarakhand floods
6. JEE – 2015 – Chennai / Cuddalore floods
7. CAT – 2015 – Chennai / Cuddalore floods
8. TANCET – 2015 – Chennai / Cuddalore floods

Santhosh Mathevan