Hundreds of students miss NEET exam in Karnataka due to train delay and exam centre relocation

Hundreds of students from Karnataka missed the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) on Sunday as their train reached Bengaluru an hour after the scheduled reporting time for the exam, officials said.

The 16591- Hampi Express en route Bengaluru reached the city at 2.30 pm due to which hundreds of candidates could not appear in the exam, they said.

The medical exam was supposed to begin at 2 pm and students from North Karnataka, especially from Hubballi, Ballari, Hospet and nearby areas relied on Hampi Express which was supposed to reach Bengaluru at 7 am. However, the train reached Bengaluru only at 3 pm.

© Kiran Kumar.

A Railway public relation officer told PTI, “For the past one week the Hampi Express is running on a diverted route.

There are no timings for the diverted route. Earlier the scheduled time of reaching Bengaluru was 7 am.”

Students ran from pillar to post in a vain bid to appear for the exam.

Jyothi S Samantri from Ballari poured out her woes in her Facebook post. The translated Facebook post says: Hampi express cursed! The “Hampi Express” train to reach bangalore at 5.30 am is still in bellary. The 60 percent people of the train are attending the neet exam today at 2 PM. Checking of exam room at 12 pm. All parents are struggling with a donation!

As the chaos marred the examination in Bengaluru, chief minister HD Kumaraswamy joined students and their parents to demand that a special examination for those who could not appear for NEET be held.

In a tweet he said, hundreds of students from North Karnataka districts missed the test here due to a 7-hour delay of the Hampi Express train.

A last-minute change in the exam centres and lack of proper communication of the same has created confusion among students, the chief minister tweeted.

“I request PM @narendramodi, Rail Minister @PiyushGoyal, @HRDMinistry, @PrakashJavdekar to intervene and ensure that students who have missed the opportunity today get another chance to write the NEET 2019 Exam,” he added.

Over 13 lakh students had registered for the exam for admission to MBBS and BDS courses which was conducted by the HRD Ministry’s National Testing Agency (NTA) for the first time.

Meanwhile, the South Western Railway (SWR) in a statement said the Hampi express from Hubballi to Mysuruwas presently being run on diverted route instead of original route of Ballari-Guntakal-Dharmavaram-Penukonda- Yelahankadue to ongoing non-interlocked working for doubling between Guntakal-Kalluru.

“In addition to this, on May 4, departure of this train from Hubballihas to be rescheduled by 120 minutes (2 hours).

Reserved passengers of the train yesterday were intimated of diversion+rescheduling by SMS on the mobile numbers given during reservation,” the statement read.

Adding to the confusion, some exam centres were changed without any prior information to the students.

The NEET is the annual Pre-Medical test conducted across the country on the same day for MBBS (Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery) and BDS (Bachelor of Dental Surgery) aspirants. In January 2018, the CBSE accepted the Supreme Court’s order and informed that only one question paper would be set for the NEET exam from 2018.

The Apex court had termed the practice of multiple question papers in different languages as “illogical” and said that it would be “very difficult” to evaluate the competence of students when their questions are different.

But this year an exception has already been made for Odisha and this has sparked a row among doctors in West Bengal.

Owing to the wreckage by the cyclonic storm FANI on the Odisha coast on May 3rd, the NEET exams have been deferred in the state.

Doctors in West Bengal whose state was also in the trajectory of the cyclone were apprehensive about the cyclone damage in their state and wrote to the Union HRD Minister and the state’s Chief Minister, Mamata Banerjee.

Dr. Maity who spoke to the millenium post said, ” A nationwide examination like NEET cannot be conducted in two separate question papers as per the order of the Supreme Court. Various states like Andhra Pradesh, Telangana were affected alongside Bengal and Odisha and we therefore urged the Union HRD Minister to postpone the examination across the country” (sic)

The cyclone, however, did not cause as much damage as predicted in West Bengal, as it had weakened after hitting Odisha coast.

Source – indiatoday.