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Coronavirus pandemic| MHRD asks National Testing Agency to postpone application deadline for UGC NET, ICAR by 1 month

HRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said that the extension is because of the COVID-19 outbreak

March 30, 2020 / 05:09 PM IST

Amid the novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, outbreak, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has asked the National Testing Agency (NTA) to postpone the application deadline for a slew of examinations including Indian Council of Agricultural Research Exam, UGC NET exam, Jawaharlal Nehru University entrance exam, IGNOU PhD and Management Entrance Exams among others by one month.

Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the union HRD minister said on Twitter that the NTA has also been advised to postpone the application process of the All India Ayush Postgraduate Entrance Test by one month.

Nishank added that the exams dates will be announced soon. Over the past few weeks, due to the COVID-19 situation, examinations for JEE Main, NEET as well CBSE/ICSE/ISC boards have been postponed.

On March 25, All India Institute of Medical Services had also put up a notification for postponement of AIIMS postgraduate entrance examination that was to be held on May 3.

COVID-19 Vaccine

Frequently Asked Questions

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How does a vaccine work?

A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

How many types of vaccines are there?

There are broadly four types of vaccine — one, a vaccine based on the whole virus (this could be either inactivated, or an attenuated [weakened] virus vaccine); two, a non-replicating viral vector vaccine that uses a benign virus as vector that carries the antigen of SARS-CoV; three, nucleic-acid vaccines that have genetic material like DNA and RNA of antigens like spike protein given to a person, helping human cells decode genetic material and produce the vaccine; and four, protein subunit vaccine wherein the recombinant proteins of SARS-COV-2 along with an adjuvant (booster) is given as a vaccine.

What does it take to develop a vaccine of this kind?

Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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India reported a total of 1,071 positive COVID-19 cases and 29 deaths so far. Due to a lockdown, educational institutions have also temporarily suspended classes and the admissions, testing personnel are also away from the campuses.

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first published: Mar 30, 2020 05:09 pm