Amid COVID-19 pandemic, administering the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for 15 lakh candidates is the most challenging exam management exercise for the Union government.
The HRD Ministry has asked NTA to double the number of test centres to maintain social distancing during the exam.
Following government directions, the NTA is now planning to seat two candidates two metres apart, which, in other words, means it will need roughly 6,000 test centres.
Till last year, two candidates were usually seated at a distance of one metre.
Originally scheduled on May 3, NEET will now be conducted on July 26 due to the lockdown in the country.
NTA usually prefers to make Kendriya Vidyalayas, CBSE-affiliated schools, engineering colleges and state government colleges (in that order of preference) as NEET test centres.
Unlike NEET, the NTA does not have to drastically increase the number of test centres for JEE (Main), which will be held from July 18 to 23. JEE (Main), which is the single-window test for admission to NITs, is held online and in many shifts over several days.