District administration officials said 1,065 candidates from different UP districts signed up for the test and selected the Lucknow Center. In the test, however, only 597 showed up while 469 preferred to get out.
In the first shift, 224 (42.4%) of 528 candidates skipped the exam, while in the second shift 245 (45.6%) were absent, although 537 candidates were supposed to appear.
In previous years the absence rate was only 15-20%.
Candidates, who showed up for the test at the Lucknow Center from districts like Unnao, Hardoi, Rae Bareli and Barabanki, told TOI that fear of contracting the novel coronavirus infection would keep many away from the exam. They too were worried when they came but felt reassured to take good precautions and strictly follow Covid’s security protocols.
“I also had two thoughts about whether I should write for health reasons or skip the entrance test, but finally I decided to take the risk as I don’t want to lose a year.” Glad I took the risk as all safety measures have been taken in my exam center. Not only once were the candidates rehabilitated at the gate and before entering the examination hall, ”said Shambhavi Mishra, an aspirant from the city.
“I came all the way from Hardoi to take the exam. The only difficulty I faced was that the center was not in the capital, but on the outskirts in a hard-to-reach place. When I got to the center I was satisfied as there was no rush and the Covid norms were strictly adhered to, “said candidate Anupriya Gupta.
Another candidate, Akshat, from Rae Bareli said, “I was stressed when I got to the center, but I had to go through a disinfection tunnel. I went into the exam room and saw the examiners wearing PPE kits. Then I sighed in relief. There was also a reasonable physical distance, as there were two places left between candidates. ”
The pictures of overcrowded exam centers for other entrance tests like BHU and BEd had haunted me, but I was relieved, he added.
Candidates said they were stressed that fears of Covid-19 infection would haunt them during and after the exam, but good arrangements at the center eased their tensions.