Thiruvananthapuram/Kochi: Confusion prevails as a large number of candidates from Tamil Nadu got centres in the state for the NEET examinations scheduled for Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Helpdesks have been set up at all railway stations to assist students from other states. Around one lakh students appear for the test in centres spread over ten districts in the state. Students from Karnataka have also been allotted centres here.
According to reports, 5,371 students have been allotted centres in Ernakulam. Assessing the situation, chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan directed district collectors and police chiefs to arrange help desks at railway stations and main bus stands for the benefit of the students.
The chief minister made this direction in the backdrop of many students travelling to other districts, and students from other states coming to write exams. Following the directive, KSRTC has also made extra buses to make travel to the centres easy. Special facilitation centres have been opened in the Central Railway station and bus stations in Thiruvananthapuram.
In 34 centres in Thiruvananthapuram district, a total of 24,000 students are writing the test. In Thiruvananthapuram district, help centres have been opened in every centre stretching from Pallipuram to Karakonam. Accommodation facilities have been arranged for boys at Model High School, Thycaud, and Girls High School, Manacaud, in Thiruvananthapuram. The Ernakulam district administration on Saturday rose to the occasion and made elaborate arrangements to guide the NEET UG candidates who arrived from neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Karnataka to take the test at 58 centres.
The candidates were guided by volunteers of the help desks set up at various railway stations and also the RTC bus stands and Vyttila Mobility Hub. Police, revenue, railway and RTC officials also joined them. There are 37 centres in the city area and 21 centres in the rural area of the district. A total of 5,000 students from neighbouring states have been allotted hall tickets. The total number of students expected to attend the exam in the district are 33,160 from 10 am to 1 pm on Sunday.
Majority of candidates have come from Tamil Nadu. District collector Mohammed Y. Safirulla who led the arrangements said that in the city alone around 25 hotels were connected to the students and parents to secure accommodation. However, there were complaints that some of the hotels who sensed the rush for NEET at the last minute jacked up the rent for the day landing some of the parents in crisis.
While student volunteers struggled to connect to the students and parents in Tamil, volunteers of the NGO ‘Anbodu Kochi’ who were well-versed in Tamil stepped in to offset it. In Kochi, the Metro Rail and the Vyttila flyover works created hurdles for the smooth movement of students and parents to their destinations. Those who had been allotted centres in interior areas like Elanji and Thiruvaniyoor found it challenging to reach their destinations. The help desks started functioning from 8.30 am on Saturday and will work until 7 pm on Sunday. The helpdesk number is 9061518888. The railway stations covered by help desks were Ernakulam North and South, Aluva and Angamaly. Nearly 1,000 students approached the helpdesk in the day.