Students were patted down and frisked with metal detectors on Saturday before being allowed inside the 66 nodal centres amid tight security across Jaipur for the re-examination of the All India Pre Medical Test (AIPMT).
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has come up with stringent measures to deter use of unfair means in the re-test across the country after the previously held exam on May 3 was scrapped by the Supreme Court after reports of massive irregularities.
A total of 49,195 aspirants will take the re-test in Jaipur. Many parents, who have come from other cities and villages to the capital of Rajasthan, along with their children were seen waiting patiently for the examination to begin.
"I have come with my daughter from Alwar for the re-test. Her previous exam had gone well and we are skeptic about the retest as many times it is a matter of sheer luck," said Mukesh Jain, a parent who was waiting outside Saint Xavier's School.
Students were seen nervous about the re-test as they stood in the queues holding their admit card in their hands and adhering to the strict dress code prescribed by the CBSE.
"We never had the time for proper revision and it is extremely difficult to maintain that level of enthusiasm and energy for a re-exam that is scheduled two months later," said Ashutosh Bhargav, a student from Kota.
The entry of students inside the centres was monitored and recorded on camera after which they were frisked by school guards and CBSE officials both manually as well as with metal detectors. The education board has also issued a strict guideline for the applicants and barred them from carrying mobile phones, calculator, watch, geometry box, pencil box, handbag, handkerchiefs, scarves and any extra clothing. Students were asked to come in slippers and loose clothing. They are not even allowed to carry pens.
LED torches were also used to check their mouths, ears and hair for any hidden notes or electronic devices. Many students were asked to remove amulets, sacred threads and lockets from their body. Some students who had come to the centre in full-sleeve shirts were asked to tear them out.
"This is one of the strictest security arrangements we have seen for an entrance examination in years. We want to make sure that this entrance exam goes without any glitches. We are checking students properly with LED torches and infrared lights as well," said a CBSE official on duty.
Many students and parents found the excessive security unnerving.
"This re-test and tight security is not helping the applicants. My daughter was asked to remove all the ornaments she was wearing and now she is feeling more tensed than ever. This entire system has only caused trouble for the innocent students who genuinely work hard for these exams. Those who use unfair means will get through anyway," said Ashok Gurjar, a parent from Jhunjhunu.
Others said the security will not bring out any change in the way entrance examinations are conducted in the country.
"There is corruption everywhere. Do you really think those 16-17-year-old applicants who have come here can leak a question paper? Those who leak questions are within the CBSE itself and are sitting far off from these centres," said Balwant Kumar, a parent from Alwar.