The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) - for admission to IITs - and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) - for admission to medical courses - will go ahead as scheduled, government sources said today, days after the Supreme Court dismissed a petition by students to defer the exams due to the COVID-19 crisis.
Admit cards for the JEE (Main) exam have already been issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and around 6.5 lakh students (of the nearly 8.6 lakh who had registered) have downloaded them, the sources added.
The JEE (Main) exam is scheduled to be held between September 1 and September 6. The NEET exam has been pencilled in for September 13.
In line with the centre's guidelines on hygiene protocols during the pandemic, elaborate arrangements have been made to sanitise exam centres before and after each shift. Fresh face masks and gloves (provided on demand) will be handed out to all students.
Government sources also said that of total candidates who had registered for the JEE, only 120 had had requested a change of cities and examination centres.
In order to ease concerns about health and safety during the pandemic, the NTA had allowed JEE (Main) candidates to change the allotted centre five times. However, sources said that 99.07 per cent had been given their preferred choice of centres.
Requests for changes in centres are being looked at sympathetically, the sources added.
Similarly, students appearing for the NEET (undergraduate) exam were also given the option to change their centres and around 95,000 candidates had availed this opportunity.
Of the total of nearly 16 lakh candidates for this exam, 99.87 per cent were given their preferred choice of cities in which to appear for the exam.
On Monday the Supreme Court had said: "The careers of students cannot be put under jeopardy. Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards. Are students ready to waste a whole year? Education should be opened up. Covid may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait another year?"
Several parents have expressed similar worries, pointing out that around two months had already been lost from the current session, which was to have begun in July.