Students awaiting a decision on the dates of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2021 and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG) 2021 amid the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic are a worried lot.
NEET 2021 is scheduled for August and the registration process is yet to begin. JEE Main 2021 is being held in four sessions this year. Two sessions were over but the remaining two had to be postponed due to the Coronavirus pandemic. New dates have not been announced yet.
However, it is to be noted that both NEET and JEE were held amid the pandemic last year as well and therefore it is most likely that the National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct them this year as well. The Union government and NTA had issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to conduct examinations amid the pandemic. Alternate seating plan, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit were among the steps the NTA had taken.
NEET is a pen-paper-based examination and over 15 lakh students, seeking admission to undergraduate medical and dental programmes, appear for the NEET examination every year.
In 2020, NEET was deferred twice from the initial May 3 date. The exam was postponed to July 26, and then to September 13. NTA had also conducted a re-examination on October 14 for those medical aspirants who were unable to write the NEET exam on September 13.
NEET 2020: COVID-19 arrangements at exam centres
For ensuring social distancing outside examination halls, a staggered entry and exit of candidates was planned.
Adequate arrangements were made outside examination centres so that candidates could stand with adequate social distancing.
Candidates were issued an advisory guiding them about the ‘dos and don’ts’ for proper social distancing.
Hand sanitisers were made available at the entrance of the examination centre and inside the exam hall at all times.
The process of checking the admit cards of candidates was replaced with barcode readers
The number of candidates per room was reduced from 24 to 12.
State governments were asked to extend support in the local movement of the candidates so that they are able to reach their examination centres in time.
NTA had changed exam centres for a few candidates in compliance with social distancing norms and COVID restrictions. However, the city of the exam centre hadn’t been changed for any candidate.
The number of examination centres was increased. The NTA had increased the number of centres from 2,546 in 2019 to 3,862 in 2020.
All the candidates were asked to come to the exam centres with masks and sanitisers. Once they entered the centre, they had to use the masks provided by the examination authority.
Each candidate was offered a three-ply mask at the time of entry and was expected to wear the same during the examination in order to avoid any form of unfair means at the time of examination.
Several state governments including Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh provided transportation to the NEET students.
The centres which had more than 900 candidates were distributed into two centres.
NEET began at 2 pm, but entry to exam centres started at 11 am.
Source: Latest News by www.dnaindia.com.
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