The joint entrance examination (JEE Main), which began on September 1 for admission to engineering schools, ends on Sunday.
The crucial reviews will be conducted in September after being postponed twice in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
According to NTA officials, 15.97 lakh candidates from across the country have registered for NEET, a test that, unlike JEE, is based on pen paper.
To maintain social distancing, the NTA has increased the number of centers for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) from 2,546 to 3,843, while reducing the number of candidates per room from a previous 24 to 12.
“To ensure social distancing outside of the exam room, candidate entry and exit has been staggered. Adequate arrangements have been made outside of the exam centers to allow candidates to stand with adequate social distancing while waiting,” said a senior NTA official.
“Candidates were also given a notice informing them of the pros and cons of adequate social distancing. We have also written to state governments to expand support for candidates in the local movement to reach their exam centers can be on time, “added the official.
Making hand sanitizer available at the entrance of the exam center and in the exam room at all times, replacing the process of checking candidate admission cards with barcode scanners, increasing the number of exam centers, alternative seating plans, fewer candidates per room and relocated entrances and exits are among the steps which the NTA undertook.
“While all candidates are asked to go to the exam centers with masks and disinfectant, after entering the center they must use the masks provided by the examining authority.
“Each candidate will be offered a three-layer mask at the time of entry and will be expected to wear it during the exam to avoid any form of unfair means at the time of the exam,” added the official.
While the governments of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have assured students that they will provide transportation for them, a group of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumni and students have set up a portal to offer candidates in need transportation to exam centers to provide .
The Kolkata Metro Railway plans to offer special services for NEET candidates on September 13th to help them get to their exam centers.
“According to the plan, candidates are allowed to board the trains with their legal guardians if they show their tickets,” said Manoj Joshi, general manager of Metro Railway.
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.
Several opposition leaders, including Rahul Gandhi from Congress, Mamata Banerjee, the chief minister of West Bengal, her counterpart Naveen Patnaik from Odisha, DMK President M K Stalin and the Deputy Prime Minister of Delhi, Manish Sisodia, had also called for the exams to be postponed.
As there were hardly any days left for the JEE exams to begin, the problem had turned into a full-blown political battle with ministers from Rajasthan and Punjab (Congress), West Bengal (Trinamool Congress), Jharkhand (Jharkhand Mukti Morcha), Maharashtra (Nationalist Congress Party) expanded Shiv Sena) to postpone exams “in a way that achieves the two objectives of ensuring that students’ academic year is not wasted and their health and safety are not compromised”.
They petitioned the Apex Court to review the order to conduct JEE and NEET UG 2020 entrance tests during the novel coronavirus crises. However, the plea was rejected by the Supreme Court.
The NEET-UG was originally planned for May 3rd, but was postponed to July 26th and then planned for September 13th.