The joint entrance examination (main examination) and the national entrance examination (NEET-UG) will be carried out as planned in September, officials said on Tuesday with pandemic.
The National Testing Agency has planned several steps to safely conduct the work, including increasing the number of exam centers, an alternative seating plan, fewer candidates per room, and staggered entry and exit. These steps were put in place to ensure compliance with social distancing norms in the centers in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Read more: According to NTA, NEET, JEE Main 2020 exams in September, provides information on measures to ensure candidate safety
Education Department officials alleged the exams were being held as scheduled. While the joint entrance examination (main examination) is planned for September 1st to 6th, the national entrance examination with admission test (NEET-UG) is planned for September 13th.
“The number of exam centers has also increased from 570 to 660 (for JEE Main) and from 2,546 to 3843 (for NEET). While JEE-Mains is a computer-based test, NEET is a pen-and-paper test, “the NTA said in a statement. “Additionally, in the case of JEE-Mains, the number of shifts was increased from 8 to 12 and the number of candidates per shift was reduced from 1.32 lakh to 85,000,” it said.
“In order to ensure adequate social distancing in the examination rooms, the candidates at JEE Mains will sit in alternative seats. In the case of NEET, the number of candidates per room has been reduced from 24 to 12, ”it says.
To ensure social distancing outside of the exam room, candidate entry and exit is staggered, he added.
“Adequate arrangements have also been made outside the examination centers so that candidates can stand with reasonable social distance while waiting. The contestants were also given advice guiding them to “dos and don’s” for appropriate social distancing, “he added.
There were calls from several sides to postpone the entrance exams in view of the increasing number of coronaviruses. On Tuesday, Swedish youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg threw in her weight for postponing exams in the face of the pandemic.
“It is deeply unfair that Indian students are being asked to take national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and that millions have been affected by the extreme flooding. I stand by your call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID,” she said in a tweet.
Several opposition leaders in India, including Rahul Gandhi from Congress, Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, her counterpart Naveen Patnaik from Odisha, DMK President MK Stalin and CM Manish Sisodia from Delhi, have called for the exams to be postponed.
The Supreme Court rejected a request to postpone the two exams last week as the number of COVID-19 cases had soared. He said the student’s precious year “cannot be wasted” and life must go on.
“We find that the prayer for postponing the exam in question with regard to NEET and JEE-Mains contains absolutely no justification,” the Supreme Court said.
The NTA has also written to state governments to expand support for candidates in the local movement so they can get to their exam centers on time. While a total of 9.53 lakh candidates have registered for JEE Mains, 15.97 lakh students have registered for NEET.