The National Testing Agency (NTA) is slated to conduct the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to undergraduate MBBS and BDS courses in government and private colleges on September 13, amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Students across the nation have been raising concerns over the exam dates, seeking postponement in view of the COVID-19 situation in the country, where fresh coronavirus cases are being reported in the thousands every day.
The situation seems to be far worse for aspiring doctors from Haryana, as all the 40 NEET 2020 exam centres in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state are located in the worst COVID-hit cities of Gurugram and Faridabad, reported the Hindustan Times. More than 16,000 aspiring doctors are expected to take the NEET exams this year in Haryana as against around 14, 000 aspirants who took the NEET exams in 2019.
Frequently Asked Questions
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.
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.
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.
Although the Centre is insisting that the entrance exams – both NEET 2020 and JEE 2020 – will be conducted in September, chief ministers of opposition-ruled states and hundreds of students are opposed to the idea.Even as the push for the postponement of NEET and JEE 2020 exams continues, the Centre informed that 9,94,198 students have already downloaded their NEET 2020 admit cards and another 7,49,408 students have downloaded their JEE Main 2020 admit card.