Several Indian students from Qatar, set to appear for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Neet 2020), have appealed to the authorities in India to allot an examination centre in Qatar due to the adverse situation arising out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
The new travel restrictions and the Covid-19 related regulations will adversely impact the preparations, performance and even the participation in the examination, some of the parents of the students have pointed out.
Neet is the sole all India based entrance test for admission to medicine programmes in India and it is learnt that about 300 students from Qatar have registered to take part in the examination.
They also note that there is already a centre for JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) in Qatar, another all India entrance test for admission to engineering programmes and a similar centre can be opened here for Neet too. The students and their parents feel if the authorities both in India and Qatar consider their request a similar centre for Neet can be allotted in Qatar.
NEET 2020 was originally scheduled to be held on May 3, but was postponed due to Covid-19 scare in India and will now be conducted on July 26.
Most of these students have been undertaking special coaching for the examination for about two years and it is one of the toughest examinations to qualify. If the students fail to take the examination this year, they will have to wait for another year for the next examination.
“My child has been preparing for the Neet examination for a very long time. In the present situation, it will be very difficult for her to travel to India and attend the examination. We are not sure when we can get a flight to travel. Moreover, if the child travels to India, she has to go for mandatory quarantine for 14 days and thereafter another 14 days of home quarantine. This will lead to the students to lose focus,” said Suresh kumar, parent of a student at Birla Public School.
“Another issue is that at least one of the parents also have to travel with the students for guidance and local logistics arrangements. We are not yet sure where will be the test centre and if the child does not get a nearby centre, it will again be another issue as they have to travel to unknown and faraway places,” he continued.
According to another parent whose child is a student of MES Indian School, it would be risky for the children to travel as they might get exposed to the pandemic. “We have seen several people become Covid-19 positive after travelling in larger groups,” he explained.
“Therefore, we request the authorities to consider the request and provide a local centre so that our children can take the examination with enough preparation and confidence. We have already made formal requests and are hopeful that the Indian embassy and other community leaders will assist us in this genuine request,” he added.
It is also learnt that similar requests have been made by students from other Gulf countries too.
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