Covid-19 effect: JEE (Main) could be postponed to February 2021
The Joint Entrance Examination (Main) or JEE (Main) for the year 2021 could be held in February instead of the conventional January as the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the education ministry consider ways to put the academic cycle back on track.
The board exams conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) are also likely to be moved a few weeks further.
According to a person aware of the developments, the NTA might postpone most of the competitive exams that it was scheduled to hold this year and would work with the ministry and other bodies concerned to chart out the schedule for the next year.
“There are only one or two major tests that NTA is yet to conduct and they will be held soon. Therefore it is likely that the new schedule, when it is drawn, will see some readjustments,” said a person aware of the developments.
The JEE (Main) exam for admission to engineering colleges is held twice every year with the first cycle scheduled in January itself.
However, in a year that has seen academic activity highly disrupted, the second cycle of the JEE (Main) exam was postponed from April to September and conducted with much difficulty and precautions amid the pandemic.
While a final decision will be taken in the coming days, the policy makers also have to factor in the rising number of cases.
Similar concerns also have to be taken into consideration by the CBSE and other boards as they chalk out their examination schedule. The CBSE has already pruned a part of its syllabus to ensure that the children are not under undue stress.
Candidates can take the JEE (Main) twice every year. The first test is held in January and the second in April. In 2020, the second test could not be held in April due to the Covid-19 pandemic; it was held in September instead.
Over 200,000 candidates did not take the JEE (Main) exam held in September, a figure that is more than double the number of absentees the previous year, according to data shared by the Union education ministry in the Rajya Sabha.
According to the data, of the 858,395 registered candidates, 649,612 took the exam this year.
In 2019, for the second attempt at JEE (Main), which held was in April, 1,105,514 candidates registered. Of them, 1,025,128 took the exams, according to the data shared in the Upper House.
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