New Delhi: The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE)-Mains for admission to engineering colleges began on Tuesday amid the various petitions and social media protests to postpone the exam in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The government has taken various stringent precautions and social distancing measures for the safe conduction of the examination. The measures include staggered entry and exit for candidates, sanitizers at the gate, distribution of masks, and maintaining social distancing as candidates queued up.
The exam which has been postponed twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic is scheduled from September 1 to 6.
The first shift of the exam began at 9.30 am while the second shift will begin from 2.30 pm.
“Before the start of each exam shift and after the last shift ends, all seats will be thoroughly sanitized and the work stations and keyboards will be disinfected,” an NTA official said.
Over 9 lakh candidates have registered for the JEE-Mains exam for admission to engineering courses in IITs, NITs, and Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs).
Increasing the number of examination centres, alternate seating plans, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the National Testing Agency has taken for safely conducting the crucial exam.
While the governments of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh have assured students that they will provide transportation to candidates, a group of IIT alumni and students have also launched a portal to provide transport facilities to exam centres for the candidates in need.
The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the two exams amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases, saying a “precious year” of students cannot be wasted and life has to go on.
Based on the results of the JEE-Mains Paper 1 and Paper 2, the top 2.45 lakh candidates will be eligible to appear for the JEE-Advanced exam, which is a one-stop exam to get admission into the 23 premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). JEE-Advanced is scheduled to take place on September 27.