The Indian High School in Dubai will be the venue for the NEET exams on September 12 Image Credit: Gulf News

Dubai: Nearly 2,000 Indian expat students from the UAE are expected to appear in the NEET (UG) – 2021 exams on September 12.

For the record, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) or NEET (UG), formerly the All India Pre-Medical Test (AIPMT) is an all India pre-medical entrance test for students who wish to pursue undergraduate medical MBBS, dental BDS and courses in government and private institutions of India.

The exam is also for those intending to pursue primary medical qualification abroad. It is conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA).

This year, the Indian High School (IHS) in Oud Metha has been picked as the centre to host the NEET exams.

The Consulate General of India (CGI), confirmed that the entrance exam will be held at the IHS premises on Sunday, September 12, from 12.30pm to 3.30 pm in pen and paper mode. The students will have to answer the questions on a specially designed machine gradable OMR sheet using Black Ball Point Pen. The duration of the test will be three hours. The exam will be conducted as per the NTA guidelines.

Alka Malik, managing director of Ascentria-PACE, one of the leading test-prep centres in the region, said: “IHS has been the centre for JEE for several years and has all the protocols in place for conducting such an examination. We have been petitioning for a NEET centre in the UAE for the last two years and are so grateful that this has come to fruition. Several of our extremely promising NEET aspirants of last year eventually did not sit the examination to avoid travel to India and instead sought admission in other countries. We expect this move will significantly improve UAE students’ results, as travel just before such an important exam certainly impacts the outcome adversely. We are grateful to the Indian Consulate and government for supporting the Indian diaspora in the Gulf.”

Deepthi M.V, mother of M. Sai Akshat, student of GEMS Modern Academy who has been preparing for NEET with Ascentria-PACE, said a NEET exam centre in Dubai has been a blessing especially considering the pandemic. “Being the toughest exam for a medical seat in India, there is a lot of effort that students put to succeed in this exam. With this background, it is challenging to put the students through the grinding of travel protocols just few days before the exam. So, it is definitely a welcoming news of having NEET exam center in Dubai. We wish all NEET aspirants the very best.”

Another happy parent Vylerie Seema, mother of Vyleri Siddharth, student of JSS International School also preparing for NEET with Ascentria-PACE, said the NEET opening its centre in Dubai for the 2021 exams has vastly helped expats travel unnecessarily. “Although Dubai has been added as one of the NEET centres at the last minute, as the saying goes “better late than never”.

Punit M.K. Vasu, CEO at The Indian High Group of Schools said: “The Indian High School in Dubai was the first NEET exam centre in UAE to be trusted by the CBSE in successfully conducting the NEET exam. As a not-for-profit community group of schools, we are honoured to once again be conducting the NEET exam for the students. We feel this is a lifeline for Indian students aspiring to study medical education to be able to take the exam right at their doorstep in a safe and secure environment.”

Vasu said the school will depute around 300 qualified and trained invigilators for this exam. “Our administration and transport support teams will be available to co-ordinate all logistics, support and execution of all Covid related protocols. Our school is well connected with all major bus routes and is less than a minutes’ walk from the Dubai Metro rail accessible by all major roads including Dubai Al Ain Road and Al Khail Road. This will help students from all over the UAE reach the venue with ease and hopefully stress free.”

School infrastructure and logistics

The entry of the candidates at the IHS will be administered through gates No. 4, 5, and 6 (opposite St. Mary’s Chruch in Oud Metha Road). The students will be let in batches starting from 09.30 am until 12.00 pm .

“The candidates are requested to report at the IHS’s gates as per the time indicated in their respective admit cards. No candidates will be permitted to enter IHS after 12.00 pm, read a note from the CGI.

“Candidates are advised to leave home well in advance taking into consideration of traffic, location of the centre and weather conditions, etc,” said Vasu.

What students have to bring for the exam

According to the CGI, the candidates have to bring the following to the examination centre:

- Admit card along with passport size photograph affixed on it.

- One passport-size photograph to be affixed on attendance sheet.

- Valid original identity proof, PwD certificate, if applicable.

- One post card size (4”X6”) color photograph with white background should be pasted on the proforma downloaded with the admit card and should be handed over to invigilator at the centre.

COVID-19 protocols

Candidates will be subject to extensive and compulsory frisking and temperature check before entering the examination centre. This will be done with the help of highly sensitive metal detectors. The examination will be conducted following the UAE government’s Covid -19 health regulations.

No parking facilities

The CGI said there are no parking facilities at the IHS. “Considering the limited public parking and to ensure smooth entry of candidates, only pick and drop is allowed near the school gates,” the guidelines read.

Vasu said the candidates and their parents are advised to visit the NTA site before and after the examination. Parents and candidates are also requested to keep visiting the NTA website(s) for regular and latest updates.