Five students from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) in Bombay have designed a web portal to facilitate transport to their testing centers for candidates who appear for the National Qualifying Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Exam (JEE).
EduRide is a web portal that connects candidates across the country with volunteers ready to drive to their respective test centers or arrange a vehicle. Any NEET or JEE candidate can register on the website, enter details about their place of residence and test centers. These details are then compared with volunteers drawn from a network of students and alumni from various IITs.
“We take preferences from a volunteer and he / she can either drive the student or arrange a vehicle for the student. Our portal tries to match a suitable student from a certain area to a volunteer from the same area, ”said Kriti Kamna, who is responsible for promoting the website. The portal also raises funds to facilitate transport for candidates.
Since its launch on Saturday, the portal has received almost 200 entries for the transport every day. The web portal was developed with the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdown in different parts of the country in mind.
However, IIT Bombay has made it clear that it merely facilitates the process of connecting a candidate to a volunteer and does not verify the authenticity of the candidate or the volunteer.
The NEET and JEE exams, due to take place in September, were the focus of national controversy after the Supreme Court allowed the central government to conduct physical exams, calling on students in need to postpone or cancel the exams. One of the problems cited by the candidates is the lack of public transport in the lockdown, which can affect the candidates’ ability to reach their centers on time.
The EduRide portal is designed to help students overcome the transportation problem. Subhasis Chaudhuri, director of IIT Bombay, said on social media, “To help JEE (Main) and NEET candidates in various locations across the country, several IITs students and alumni, including those from IIT Bombay, reported to connect needy candidates with volunteers willing to help with transportation or financially through an online portal http://eduride.in. I ask volunteers to help the needy candidates in their neighborhood with transportation. Let us all help the future engineers, doctors, and scientists of India. ”
Kamna said that while the portal will do its best to find transportation for such distressed candidates, they should also provide a backup option.
“With limited time, we can’t guarantee every request, but we definitely strive for it,” said Kamna, an electrical engineering student at IIT Bombay last year.