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Education minister says no rethink on postponement of JEE and NEET exams

August 27, 2020

As per sources, the Ministry of Education Secretary said that the Centre’s decision remains the same that there would be no rethink on postponing JEE and NEET exams. The decision of the Centre and National Testing Agency (NTA) to conduct JEE and NEET exams amidst the Covid-19 pandemic has raised a lot of questions from many politicians as well as Swedish environmental activist Greta Thunberg.

The chief ministers of seven non-BJP states are also planning to move Supreme Court on the Centre’s decision to hold JEE and NEET. More than 16 lakh students have already downloaded JEE and NEET admit cards as per the data from 10 am today.

The NTA on Wednesday said it is “fully prepared” to conduct the JEE (Main) and NEET, for admission to engineering and medical courses respectively, in a “safe and secure” manner with all precautions in place in the wake of the pandemic. 

NTA Director General Vineet Joshi said at any given time there will be a maximum of just 15 candidates at the registration desk and the complete process from entry to exit of candidates will be contact-less— right from frisking to verification of documents and during the exam.

“We have ensured crowd management before and after the exam. For the candidates, we have allotted staggered reporting time. Say there are 150 candidates at a centre, we have separated them into groups and they will report in a gap of 30 to 40 minutes. There will be queue managers at the entry and candidates will be made to stand at demarcated areas to ensure social distancing. At the outer cordon, there will be people to ensure that accompanying guardians drop their wards and move on. They will not be allowed to park vehicles and stand at the entry. We have also written to the local authorities so that the local police can help us,” said Joshi.

He said any further postponement of the exams would seriously hamper the academic calendar as it takes lot of time to make preparations. “Shifting of the exam involves huge logistical exercise. Thousands of centres are to be contacted again for their availability. Also availability of supervisors and invigilators, movements of tonnes of materials and equipment like jammers and CCTV cameras are involved. It takes close to 75-80 days. If it is postponed again, it will have a serious effect on the academic calendar,” he added.

Joshi said after the exams, candidates will be allowed to exit in batches to avoid crowding at the gates. “Keeping in view the Covid-19 situation and the government’s guidelines on social distancing, we have increased the number of rooms. For NEET-UG not more than 12 candidates will be seated in a room. For JEE (Main), since it is computer-based, candidates will be seated on alternately numbered computers. The computers used in the first shift will not be used in the second shift. In order to ensure social distancing as well as safety, we have increased the number of invigilators as well,” explained Joshi.

Over the past 20 days, NTA has been training city coordinators, observers and invigilators on implementation of the standard operating procedures (SOP). “The admit cards will serve as a pass for travelling in containment zones. We have also written to the states so that candidates in their respective region can have a transport facility as that has to be arranged by the local authority,” said Joshi.

Source: Times of India & India Today

Also read: SC dismisses pleas seeking postponement of NEET, JEE Main exams

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