The National Testing Agency (NTA) has said that it will conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main) 2020 and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 as per schedule in September. JEE Mains would be held between 1 and 6 September and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test, NEET UG would be conducted on 13 September.
The NTA has also created a detailed protocol on how to conduct the examination. As per a notification by NTA, to avoid crowding at the examination centre, candidates will be given staggered time slots for reporting. Both staff members and candidates will be checked with Thermo guns at every point for fever. If any of them show a temperature, or display any COVID-19 symptoms, they will be placed in separate Isolation rooms.
Candidates are allowed to only carry a mask, gloves, personal transparent water bottle, personal 50 ml hand sanitizer and exam related documents as instructed.
The notification further states that body pat frisking will not be done and frisking by metal detector with a long handle will be carried out, ensuring that the detector does not come in physical contact with any candidate. Furthermore, Bluetooth and Wi-Fi signal presence will be checked inside the examination rooms and centre.
As per the guidelines, when it comes to document verification, a table of approx. of around 3 feet width should be kept in Registration room or hall where candidates will display the documents for Exam Functionary to view without any physical contact. This will be followed by manual attendance with signature, while sporting gloves.
The NTA guidelines also state that gloves and masks should be disposed in bin at the Examination Centre and outside the examination hall only.
As per a report in Hindustan Times, a government official has stated that the NTA had contacted top medical professionals to help them in creating the guidelines. The official stated that professionals of repute like Dr GC Khilnani, former head of pulmonary medine in AIIMS, Delhi, Dr Arvind Kumar, Head of Chest Surgery, and Dr Ashok Kumar Jariyal, professor of physiology are among experts that NTA has been relying on.
There were apprehensions regarding the conduct of the exam with students and their parents asking for its postponement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Even BJP leader Subramanian Swamy urged the Centre to hold the exams post Diwali, conceding that students requested him to intervene in the matter rather late in the day.
NTA on Friday stated that the engineering and medical undergraduate entrance exams will be conducted following the Supreme Court order.
In a statement NTA said there is absolutely no justification in the prayer made for the postponement of the examination related to NEET UG-2020 as well as JEE (Main) April 2020.
“In our opinion, though there is pandemic situation, but ultimately life has to go and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and full academic year cannot be wasted,” the statement said.
It further added that the examination is going to be held with due precaution and it will not be postponed.
Earlier this week the Supreme Court dismissed the plea seeking cancellation of both entrance examinations. The apex court said that the postponement of exams will result in students losing an academic year and will put their careers in peril.