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NEET goes without a hitch

A few dress code violations reported from some centres
The National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to MBBS and BDS courses was conducted across 226 centres in the State in a largely smooth manner on Sunday, barring a few incidents of dress code violations. However, the death of a Tamil Nadu native, who had accompanied his son for the test to Ernakulam, cast a pall of gloom over candidates. Around 1.2 lakh candidates are expected to have appeared for the examination. Officials of the CBSE are yet to ascertain the exact number of aspirants who turned up at centres across 10 districts.

Krishnasamy Srinivasan, who accompanied his son Kasthoori Mahalingam to Kerala, died of cardiac arrest in Kochi. He was admitted to a private hospital after he complained of uneasiness. His son was told about the death only after he emerged from the examination centre at Nalanda Public School in Thammanam. They hail from Tiruvarur district in Tamil Nadu. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan condoled the death. Mr. Mahalingam’s body was taken to Tiruvarur on Sunday itself.

When compared to the previous year, there were no major controversies over the dress code. In Kozhikode, two girls who turned up at the examination centre at Devagiri CMI Public School in long-sleeved attire were made to cut off their sleeves by half. Their parents said that while they were willing to comply with the guidelines, the authorities had enforced them selectively. A few candidates were required to remove their ornaments. In certain centres, aspirants from other districts and States found it difficult to locate their allotted halls. A few candidates who arrived at the centres after 9.30 a.m. were barred from appearing for the examination.

The police and CBSE officials had put in place crowd-control measures for streamlined entry of candidates to halls. They were permitted entry in two batches with the first stream entering the halls from 7.30 a.m. to 8.30 a.m. and the next until 9.30 a.m. after a brief interval.