JEE Mains begins today amid stringent Covid precautions


NEW DELHI: Postponed twice due to the pandemic, the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) for admission to top engineering colleges in the country will commence with unprecedented preparations from Tuesday.

About 9.58 lakh aspirants have registered for the exam to be conducted from September 1-6 across 660 testing centres. While Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh governments have assured the aspirants free transportation, a group of IIT alumni and students have launched a portal to provide transport facility to exam centres for needy aspirants. Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union minister of education, has appealed to chief ministers to support the candidates.

According to Vineet Joshi, director general, National Testing Agency, a comprehensive standard operating procedure for the candidates and centre staff has been put in place to ensure social distancing and secured delivery of the test.

There has been demand for further postponing of the JEE (main) and medical entrance exam NEET-UG amid rising Covid-19 cases. The JEE (Main) is conducted for admission to engineering courses in IITs, NITs and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), the score of which is also used by various state and private engineering colleges.

“I appeal to chief ministers of all states to support our students in such unprecedented circumstances and make appropriate arrangements so the aspirants do not have to face any inconvenience. I also appeal to students to have faith in agencies behind conduct of the examination,” said Pokhriyal.

The number of aspirants per room has been brought down to 12 from 24 for the computer-based test and the computers used in the first shift of the day will not be used in the second shift. “Staggered entry and exit, not allowing gathering of parents/guardians near the centre will help in crowd management and social distancing,” said Joshi, who added that each protocol will be strictly implemented.

As per the SOP in place, before the start of each shift and after the last shift ends, all seats, including the workstation and keyboards will be disinfected. The complete centre, its walls, toilets and doors will also be thoroughly sanitised.

Hand sanitisers will be available at the entrance of the examination centre and inside the exam hall. The usual process of checking the admit cards of candidates will be replaced with barcode readers. Even though the candidates are being asked to come to the test centres with masks and sanitisers, at the centre they will have to use the masks provided by the examination authority. Each candidate will be offered a three-ply mask at the time of entry and is expected to wear the same during the examination.

The JEE (Main) was originally scheduled to be held from April 7-11, but was postponed to July 18-23. It was postponed again till September. Based on the results of the JEE (Mains), the top 2.5lakh candidates will be eligible to appear for the JEE (Advanced) for admission into the 23 premier Indian Institutes of Technology.

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