Students, parents relieved as UAE hosts India's NEET exam

File photo used for illustrative purpose
File photo used for illustrative purpose

Abu Dhabi - This is the first time the entrance exam for Indian medical colleges is being held in Dubai.



By Ashwani Kumar

Published: Fri 23 Jul 2021, 5:52 PM

Hundreds of students and parents breathed a sigh of relief after the UAE was chosen as a centre for the Indian medical college entrance exam. This is the first time the exam is being held in the emirate.

It comes as a welcome that amid the ongoing India-UAE travel restrictions, Dubai was chosen as a centre to hold the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) – a uniform examination for admission to medical and dental colleges in India.

Mehnaz Safeek, who aspires to pursue MBBS, is delighted to avoid a trip to India as there is uncertainty over return flights to Abu Dhabi.

“Travelling to India was fraught with challenges. We didn’t know if we could come back. My parents are working and were concerned about their jobs if they got stranded in India. Until now, we don’t have clarity over the travel curbs. We had even booked our flight tickets to travel this month, as we had no other option. We decided to take the risk and fly out. So, an exam centre in the UAE comes as a welcome respite,” she said.

The NEET, which was earlier scheduled to be held on August 1, was postponed to September 12. Several families had booked their air tickets to travel this month.

Kevin Binu, another NEET aspirant, said a local exam centre allays fears of getting stranded in India.

“My parents' jobs, and my college admission process would have been jeopardised if the travel curb has gone on until September. I am now preparing (for the exam) through group studies, online tests and quizzes. Having a centre in Dubai is reassuring,” he said.

Kevin's father Binu said that despite the uncertainty prevailing over the return flight, the family had planned to fly out in the first week of August.

“We knew that Kuwait was a centre, but Kerala was a better option for us. We were all set to travel in the first week August. With the current travel curbs, it was a risk for us , but we had no way out. However, we are relieved now (the exams will be held in Dubai),” said Binu.

Sunisha Shafeek, a teacher at Abu Dhabi Indian School, Al Wathba, noted that the move would benefit hundreds of students across the UAE.

“We have more than 100 pupils from our school alone who will appear for NEET. So, you can imagine how many pupils from across the UAE will be taking this exam. This is a considerate move by the Indian government and a major relief for students and parents.”

ashwani@khaleejtimes.com


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