40,000 students take part in JEE in Karnataka; The entry times are staggered
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Bengaluru: As the debate continues across the country about holding the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Entrance Exam (NEET), centers in Karnataka are preparing for the tests.

Approximately 40,000 students are expected to write JEE Main across the state, including 25,000 in Bengaluru. NEET numbers were not immediately available. While JEE Main takes place from September 1st to 6th, NEET is scheduled for September 13th. The National Testing Agency conducts both tests.

JEE Main is held in 33 centers in Karnataka, with the test being carried out in two shifts depending on the elective. The centers should have at least four entry points. The participants receive staggered entry times – from 7 a.m. for the exam from 10 a.m. “Students and parents need to stick to timelines. Their cooperation is extremely important in maintaining social distancing,” said an official.

The number of students per center for JEE is around 250. Only one center in Bengaluru will host around 400 students, which under normal circumstances housed around 1,200 students, officials said. Observers in each center are professors from universities and representatives from TCS.

When it comes to NEET, a center of the city is expected to house 750 students and officials have raised concerns about the same. “The worries are about toilet breaks. Although the number of halls is larger, the toilets are not that many. How do we know how many students are in the toilet at a time when they leave different halls? Students too. We are concerned too about the staff hired to search outsourced students. How do we make sure they are Covid negative? “said an official from the center.

A single student sits on a bench and a classroom can accommodate no more than 12 students. Candidates are allowed to carry transparent water bottles. Diabetics are allowed to carry their own kits. The student searches are done in a methodical manner so that social distancing is maintained. Thumbprints were replaced by barcodes on hall tickets.

Students from security zones or those who are not doing well are given the opportunity to take the test in isolation rooms where supervisors wear PPE kits. However, officials said they had not been informed about Covid-positive students.

The state government, which ran SSLC exams for around 8.5 lakh students and the Common Entrance test for 1.8 lakh students, said it was also ready to run national entrance tests. “We passed the state entrance test successfully. We are confident that we can take it,” said the Minister of Higher Education, CN Ashwath Narayan.

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