Representational image. (HT file)
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Security Zones staff and examinees are not allowed to physically attend exam centers and there are alternative arrangements for these students in accordance with the latest guidelines from the Union Ministry of Health on taking tests during the COVID-19 pandemic.

These students will be given the option to take the exam by other means, or educational institutions will have to arrange their work at a later date in accordance with the Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) issued Wednesday. According to SOPs, only asymptomatic employees and students are allowed to enter the examination room. The addition of a face covering / mask is mandatory.

The face covering or mask must always be worn in the examination center, underlined. The authorities concerned should plan the examination schedule in stages in order to avoid overcrowding of the examination centers every day, according to the SOPs.

Examination centers in security zones are not allowed to work, it said. Appropriate arrangements for face coverings / masks, hand sanitizer, soap, sodium hypochlorite solution, etc. are provided by universities, educational institutions, examination boards or examination centers for both staff and students.

“Examination officials and examinees can also submit a self-declaration about their state of health when they enter the examination center. Such a self-declaration form can be distributed at the time the tickets are issued, ”says the guidelines.

If an examination officer / examinee does not meet the self-explanatory criteria, he may not be admitted, underlined the SOPs.

For pen and paper based tests, the SOPs specify that supervisors disinfect their hands before distributing question papers / answer sheets and that examinees disinfect their hands before receiving or returning these materials.

Collecting and packing the answer sheets at each stage includes hand disinfection. Answer sheets are preferably opened 72 hours after collecting the papers, following recommended guidelines.

“The use of spit / saliva to count and distribute leaves is not permitted,” the SOPs say.

In the case of online or computer-aided examinations, the systems must be disinfected with alcohol wipes before and after the examination is carried out, and all examination officials must be recorded. The DUTs should be kept in the system for future reference and traceability. The guidelines are underlined.

Exam center entrances should contain mandatory hand hygiene and thermal screening regulations.

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