JEE Main April-May rounds likely in July-Aug, NEET may be held in Sept

NEW DELHI: In the event of CBSE conducting Class XII Board exams in 19 “major subjects” from August 1-20, which is being considered as one of the options amid the pandemic, the National Testing Agency (NTA) is likely to conduct the deferred April and May rounds of JEE (Main) at the end of July and August. The agency is also looking at holding NEET-UG for admission to medical courses in a pen-paper mode in September, for which registration may start from July 1, NTA sources said.

Sources said the decision to roll out the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) will depend on the fate of the Class XII Board exams.

CBSE presented two options on Sunday- first, to hold exams from August 1 in 19 subjects with marking in minor subjects done on the basis of performance in the exams taken and second, to conduct the exams in two phases (July 15 to August 1 and August 5-26) with states having the option to choose from the two windows depending on the Covid situation.


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Various states are likely to submit their suggestions on the conduct of the Class XII Board and other entrance exams on Tuesday to the ministry of education and CBSE is likely to review the situation on June 1. The decisions are likely to have a cascading effect on numerous entrance tests to be held by NTA, including state-specific exams like UPCET.

A government source said, “Everything rests on when the Class XII Board exams are conducted and in what format. NTA is working on several combinations depending on different situations that may arise.”

In case CBSE goes for the second option to hold Board exams in two phases, the deferred April round of JEE (Main) is either likely to be held in the second week of July (as the first phase of the CBSE exam is likely to commence from July 15 or in the first week of August. “In that case, the May-round of the engineering entrance test may be even be pushed to the first or second week of September,” the source said.

NEET-UG was scheduled for August 1 and though registration was to commence in April, NTA kept it in abeyance due to surge in cases. However, in case Board exams are conducted in August, NEET-UG is likely to be deferred to the first or second week of September and registration is likely to commence from July 1, 2021. “But all these could change depending on the situation,” said a senior official of the ministry of education.

Admissions to IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), and other centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs) are set to get affected. “IITs will be able to conduct the JEE (Advanced) only after the JEE (Main) is completed, which as per the present scenario is likely to be in the first week of September,” he said.

In case of truncated and cancellation of Class XII exams, CUCET is likely to play a significant role in admission to central universities. “If the government decides against Class XII Boards or go for a truncated one, CUCET may be rolled out,” said an NTA official.

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