The pandemic has disturbed the economy. All the offices, schools, colleges and universities have shut, bringing an economic halt in the nation. The pandemic has left millions of people without jobs. The country is going through an economic recession. The lockdown has begun on 23rd March 2020. Currently, India is in the third rank with 3,476,043 cases of coronavirus.
India is under the unlocking phase. Many states have decided to reopen the economy in the new normal. The schools, colleges and universities are planning to reopen their offline admission processes and classes are going to be conducted with certain restrictions. The norm of social distancing is needed to be followed and masks are mandatory. Certain travel restrictions are purposive. Under this unlocking phase, the National Testing Agency has decided to conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) in September. It has launched special guidelines that focus on the precautions that are to be carried out by the students during the examination.
The JEE (Mains) is expected to be conducted from 1st Of September till 6th Of September. The NEET (UG) is on 13th September. The guidelines are issued to examine in ‘safe and secured manner’.The average number of candidates in every centre is 120. The total number of candidates is 416, 12 students in one room.
The Director-General of the National Testing Agency, Vineet Joshi has said that only 15 candidates are permitted in every registration desk. The contactless entry and exit policy have to be followed. The group of 150 candidates are to be divided at intervals with a gap of 30 minutes to 40 minutes. The candidates have to follow the norms of social distancing at every point. The guardians are requested to drop their wards and move on. The guardians are not allowed to park their vehicles and wait at the entry points. This rule and regulation are needed to be carried out to avoid the crowd and to follow the norms of social distancing.
The candidates are required to exit in batches to avoid the crowding at the main gates. Not more than 12 candidates are allowed to sit in one room. This guideline has to be maintained by the students appearing for NEET (UG). The candidates appearing for JEE (Mains) have to sit on the alternate computers to maintain social distancing. The computers that are being in the first shift are to be avoided being used in the second shift. The invigilations have been increased. The NTA has organized special training courses for the invigilators and regulations have been provided to them that are required to be followed during the hours of the examination. The Special Operation Procedures (SOP) has been prepared and implemented by the observers and the candidates. The admit card is to be treated as ‘pass’ in the containment zone.
There are some important COVID_19 advisory guidelines for the students of JEE (Main):
- The four pages admit card is to be downloaded. The first page contains details of the centre and the self-declaration (undertaking) form regarding COVID-19. The second page contains some important instructions for the candidates. The third page and the fourth page contain some advisory instructions for the candidates regarding the COVID-19. The candidates need to download all four pages.
- The sanitization is an utmost. The seating arrangements are needed to be sanitized before the examination. The areas are needed to be sanitized in between the shifts. All the components that are used during the examination are required to be sanitized, such as, keyboard, mouse, and webcam along with all handle doors and so on.
- The distances between the two seats are to be maintained as per the Government of India guidelines.
- The hand sanitizers are required to be available at the centre and the bar code is to be available at the entry point of the centre. All the precautionary measure has been ensured for the safety of the students.
- The processes in the examination are to be carried out in a ‘touch-free’ manner.
- The students and the parents are required to bring their own masks. However, it is important to note that the candidates have to be offered a fresh 3 ply masks before entry to prevent the chances of UFM in the examination. The candidates are expected to wear the freshly provided masks at the centre. The candidates are required to remove the masks that they have carried from their home. The NTA has ensured that more than 99% of the candidates are to get their choice of the centre.
These guidelines are to be followed during the examination in order to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The postponement of examination is going to hamper the career opportunities of the students. Also, unavailability of the invigilators along with the movement of several materials such as CCTV, jammers and so on is difficult at times. All these arrangements require 70-80 days in advance that may seem inconvenient.
To this, many political parties and leader have protested. The call for the postponement of the competitive examination to ensure the safety of the students is crucial. Many political leaders such as Rahul Gandhi from INC, Ms Mamata Banerjee from TMC have joined the protest. There is extensive demand.