National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET)

Jun 24, 2024

Current Affair 1:


The unexpected postponement of NEET (PG) 2024 just hours before it was scheduled to take place left thousands of aspiring medical students in shock and uncertainty.

This postponement comes amidst the cancellation of the UGC-NET 2024 exam held on 18 June 2024 and ongoing protests over discrepancies in NEET (UG) exam results.

In response to these concerns, the Ministry of Education announced on 22 June 2024 the formation of a seven-member panel to oversee the conduct of examinations through the National Testing Agency (NTA). The panel, headed by former Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) chief K. Radhakrishnan, has been tasked with ensuring that future exams are conducted transparently, smoothly, and fairly.

About NEET:

NEET was first introduced in 2013 by the Medical Council of India (MCI) but was struck down for violating the provisions of Articles 19(1)(g), 25, 26(a), 29(1) and 30(1) by the apex court in a 2-1 judgement in Christian Medical College, Vellore & Ors. vs. Union of India & Ors.

When this judgement was challenged, a five-judge bench was formed in 2016 to hear the review petitions, which almost recalled the original judgement, without stating reasons in details for the same. From 2017 onwards, NEET became the sole entrance exam for undergraduate medical and dental admissions, replacing the All-India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) and other state-level tests.

As per Section 14 of the National Medical Commission Act, 2019 (NMC Act), the NEET (UG) is mandated as a standardized and uniform entrance examination for admission to undergraduate medical programs across all medical institutions in India.

Similarly, Section 14 of the National Commission for Indian System of Medicine Act, 2020, requires a uniform NEET (UG) for admission to undergraduate courses in disciplines such as Bachelor of Ayurvedic Medicine and Surgery (BAMS), Bachelor of Unani Medicine and Surgery (BUMS), and Bachelor of Siddha Medicine and Surgery (BSMS), covering all medical institutions under this act.

Additionally, NEET (UG) is also required for admission to the BHMS course as stipulated by the National Commission for Homeopathy.

Further, the NMC Act established NEET as the sole entrance exam for all medical colleges, including prestigious institutions like AIIMS and JIPMER.

National Testing Agency envisioned as a Premier Testing Agency

The National Testing Agency (NTA) was established by the Government as a premier, autonomous, and self-sustained testing organization to oversee entrance exams for admissions and fellowships in higher educational institutions across India. This system is aimed to benefit students by reducing the need for multiple exams for activities such as engineering admissions.

Following Cabinet approval on 10 November 2017, NTA was registered as a Society on 15 May 2018, under the Societies Registration Act of 1860.

Since its inception, NTA has conducted 125 exams. In the fiscal year 2022-23 alone, it administered 26 exams, primarily in a Computer Based Test (CBT) format, except for NEET (UG) and All India Sainik Schools Entrance Exam (AISSEE), which were conducted using pen and paper.

The NEET exam’s administration shifted from the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to the National Testing Agency (NTA) in 2019. Despite the trend towards computer-based exams, NEET remains an OMR-format test conducted in 13 languages (in 2024), including English and Hindi.

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