COVID-19: JEE Mains conducted across the country amid "new normal"
NEW DELHI: The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for admission to engineering schools began Tuesday under strict precautionary and social distancing measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, although the choir continued to grow to postpone the crucial exam has already been deferred twice.

Scenes outside exam centers across the country reflected the “new normal” amid the pandemic: staggered entry and exit for candidates, disinfectant at the gates, distribution of masks and students queuing with safe social distance.

JEE-Mains, the first large-scale test conducted as part of the pandemic, is scheduled for September 1-6. Over 9 Lakh candidates have signed up for the exam for admission to engineering courses in IITs, NITs, and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs). .

While the Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh governments have assured students that they will transport candidates, a group of IIT alumni and students have set up a portal to provide examination center transport for the candidates in need.

Several candidates who turned up for the exam in West Bengal struggled to get to their test centers due to heavy rain and lack of transportation. However, those in Delhi and NCR did not complain of major difficulties.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who has opposed JEE and NEET exams being held as part of a pandemic, alleged the Modi government had ignored the “real concerns” of aspirants that their “arrogance” meant postponing entrance exams would have requested. and endangers India’s future.

“The Modi government is putting India’s future at risk. Arrogance makes it ignore the real concerns of JEE-NEET aspirants and the demands of those who have taken SSC and other exams. Give jobs, not empty slogans,” Gandhi said on Twitter.

Students in Delhi who showed up for the exam Tuesday said they were initially concerned about taking the test during a pandemic but had no problem at the centers as all safety norms were properly followed.

Shivani, who took the computer-based exam here at Arwachin Bharti Bhawan Senior Secondary School in Vivek Vihar, said she had traveled from Dwarka Mor to the center with no difficulty.

“Amid the ongoing protests against the postponement of the exam, I thought the exam would not take place. But somewhere I didn’t want it to be postponed as it would have created more fear among students,” she said.

Another candidate from the center asked for anonymity, saying that all standard operating procedures within the exam center were followed and students were forced to sit at a reasonable safe distance.

In West Bengal, however, the scenes were different. While the government had asked all state transport companies to start bus service at 5 a.m. in anticipation of the exam, several candidates in North 24 Parganas, Berhampur, Malda and Siliguri claimed they would have to wait hours to get a downpour bus, to reach their test centers.

The suspension of local transport due to the COVID-19 pandemic added to the candidates’ concerns.

“I had to hire a taxi to get to the center of TCS Gitobitan in Salt Lake from Khardah (North 24 Parganas) as there was no direct bus available. It would have been easier if the trains had run,” said Subham Das, one of the candidates. said.

Meanwhile, the Nagpur Bank of the Bombay High Court refused to pass the JEE Main exam, but said that any student living in flood-affected parts of the Vidarbha region in Maharashtra cannot or cannot reach the exam center arriving late, contact the National Testing Agency may request a re-examination.

Increasing the number of exam centers from 570 to 660, alternative seating plans, fewer candidates per room, and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the National Testing Agency (NTA) has taken to safely conduct the crucial exam.

“Hand sanitizer is readily available at the entrance to the exam center and in the exam hall. The usual procedure for reviewing candidates’ admission cards has been replaced with barcode scanners made available to the exam center authorities,” said an NTA official.

“While all candidates are asked to go to the exam centers with masks and disinfectant, they must use the masks provided by the exam authority when entering the center. Each candidate is offered a three-layer mask at the time of Immigration and is expected to take them during the exam must be worn immediately to avoid any form of unfair means at the time of testing, “added the official.

The first shift of the exam began at 9:30 a.m. while the second shift ran from 2:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

“Before the start of each exam shift and after the end of the last shift, all seats were thoroughly refurbished and the workstations and keyboards disinfected,” said the NTA official.

With the number of COVID-19 cases rising, there has been a growing chorus of postponing exams. The Supreme Court had previously denied a request to postpone the two exams as the number of COVID-19 cases had soared. He said a “precious year” of students could not be wasted and life must go on.

Based on the results of JEE Mains Paper 1 and Paper 2, the best 2.45 lakh candidates can apply for the JEE Advanced exam, which is a one-stop exam for admission the 23 leading Indian Technology Institutes (IITs). JEE-Advanced will take place on September 27th.


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