New Delhi, Aug 21: The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry has revoked its decision to conduct medical entrance exam NEET online and twice a year. As per a media report, the examination will now be held in pen-and-paper mode only.

“The change in the NEET exam pattern was on the request of the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, who wanted the same pattern followed last year to be maintained,” the National Testing Agency said as quoted by News18. The National Testing Agency on Tuesday released schedule for exams to be held between December 2018 and May 2019. The date has also been announced that NEET would be held on May 5, 2019.

In July, HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had announced that the national level engineering and medical entrance examinations – JEE Main and NEET – will be conducted twice a year from 2019 in online mode.

Addressing a press conference, Javadekar had stated that the newly formed examination conducting agency National Testing Agency (NTA) will hold the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Examination (NEET), UGC NET and CMAT exams. At present, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is responsible for organising JEE Mains and NEET examinations.

“NTA will establish a network of test practice centers for students of rural areas so that everyone will have an opportunity to practice before the exam. Schools/engineering colleges with computer centers would be identified and kept open on Saturday/Sunday starting from 3rd week of August. Any student can use the facility free of charge,” a press release by the ministry had said.

The minister, however, had also said that the syllabus, question format, language and fees for the competitive exams won’t change. “These examinations will use highly secured IT software and encryption to ensure delivery of tests just in time. This will ensure no leakages and other malpractices,” a press release by the ministry said.