Bengaluru: A total of 365 students of Karnataka will get a chance to appear for the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on May 20 as they missed it on Sunday due to the train in which they were travelling from the state's northern districts reached Bengaluru 7 hours late, said Union HRD Minister Prakash Javdekar on Monday.
"Happy to announce that #Karnataka students who missed #NEET exam due to railway delay will get another chance," tweeted Javdekar.
Javdekar responded a day after state Chief Minister H.D. Kumaraswamy urged him to hold the test for the students who missed it for no fault of theirs.
"Thank you @PrakashJavdekar and @HRDMinistry for considering the request and helping our students," re-tweeted Kumaraswamy.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) of the HRD ministry conducts the test every year in May for students to secure admission to state-run and private medical and dental colleges across the country for studying graduate and post-graduate courses
The students, who travelled in Hampi Express from Hubli to Mysuru via Koppal, Hospet and Bellary, reached Bengaluru over 7 hours late at 2.36 p.m. instead of 7.00 a.m, while the test began at 2.00 p.m.
"The students could not reach the test centres across the city in time and missed it," a South Western Railway (SWR) official admitted on Sunday.
The students staged a protest demo outside the railway station for missing the test for no fault of them.
The railways, however, attributed the delay due to the diversion of the train route from the normal route due to doubling of line work and operational reasons since May 3.
The Chief Minister also wrote to the ministry to allow another 150 students who also missed the test as their exam centre was shifted to Bengaluru from Chikkaballapur at the last minute without prior intimation or information to them.
"As the distance from the exam centre at Chikkaballapur to the centre in Bengaluru is about 40km, about 150 students who reached the centre in time to appear for the test there, could not commute to the city by 2:00 p.m and missed it for no fault of them," an official said.
Kumaraswamy directed state Chief Secretary T.M. Vijay Bhaskar to request the HRD Ministry for holding the test again for the 150 students who missed it due to change in exam centre at the last minute from an adjacent district to the state capital.
"The ministry has assured the state that a decision would be taken soon," tweeted the Chief Minister's Office.