States prepare for the JEE (Main) exam today
New Delhi: States such as Madhya Pradesh, Telangana and Rajasthan will offer free travel to students appearing in the Joint Entrance Examination (Main), or JEE (Main), this week. Others such as Bihar and Odisha will deploy additional security forces outside examination centres to enforce social distancing norms.
JEE (Main), for admission to engineering colleges including the elite Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), is to be held over September 1-6. It’s the first major nationwide entrance test being held since the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) started spreading wider in early March.
Although several opposition-ruled states have opposed the conduct of the exam at a time when the pandemic is still raging, all have made elaborate arrangements for the test.
Around a million students have enrolled for appearing in the exam across the country. The National Testing Agency (NTA), overseeing the test, has issued detailed guidelines for conducting the exam including sanitization of examination rooms, maintaining a minimum distance of two metres between two tables and mandatory temperature checks on each student.
Students, who for the first time they will give an examination with gloves on, should not panic; they need to be careful and read the guidelines in detail, said Ashish Arora, head of academics at Jaipur-based Allen Career Institute. All students have been asked to come to the examination centre at least an hour before scheduled start of the exam.
“The children need to be calm at the centres as the movement inside the centres would be slow,” Arora said.
Ajay Singh, manager of the Uniconcept examination centre in Patna, said the students should take care to maintain social distancing.
A Patna official said an adequate number of district magistrates and police personnel would be deployed to prevent gatherings outside exam halls. In Odisha, too, police reinforcements have been deployed at examination centres to help students and to prevent overcrowding.
“Traffic police personnel would be posted at crucial places for smooth flow of traffic so that students reach on time,” said Bhubaneswar municipal commissioner PC Chaudhry, adding that there would be no restrictions on inter-state traffic to help students reach their examination centres.
The Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation released a list of hotels and lodges in the city to help students and their parents to find accommodation; in Ganjam district, buses have been provided to carry students to their examination centres. On Saturday, the state government announced a relaxation of weekend lockdowns until September 13.
Madhya Pradesh chief minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Monday said the state government has arranged free transport for students taking JEE (Main) and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical and dental courses, due on September 13 .
“The arrangement has been made to ensure that the students don’t face any problem due to Covid situation. However, for this, they will have to contact the authorities on phone number 181 or get themselves registered on mapit.gov.in/covid-19,” Chouhan said.
Rajasthan chief minister Ashok Gehlot on Sunday directed district collectors to ensure arrangements related to health protocols are in place at the examination centres; he also asked them to arrange transport and accommodation for students and their parents.
The governments of West Bengal, Kerala and Punjab, which had opposed holding the JEE and other Central entrance examinations, directed their transport departments to arrange buses for students to reach examination centres.
“Private bus operators and taxi associations have been asked to operate all vehicles. State government buses will also be on the streets,” a senior state West Bengal government official said on condition of anonymity.
He said at least 3,000 buses will run in and around Kolkata and auto-rickshaw unions have been asked to operate on routes on which examination centres are located.
(With inputs from state bureaus)