Wear masks, gloves; carry bottles: Guidelines for JEE, NEET released
Even as thousands of aspirants have been seeking the postponement of JEE and NEET examinations, in wake of coronavirus pandemic, the National Testing Agency released guidelines. The top agency made it mandatory for students to wear masks and gloves at all times and directed them to carry their own water bottles as well as sanitizers. Here are more details on this.
NTA said it made elaborate plans for exams
According to a notification, NTA "carried out detailed deliberations to formulate guidelines for the various controls/measures that are required to be implemented on the day of the exam at each examination centers." To note, the JEE examination, for admission into IITs will happen between September 1 and 6; whereas NEET, which facilitates entry into government-run medical colleges, is scheduled for September 13.
Students running temperature will write exam in different room
As per the guidelines, students will be asked to report at the examination center at different time slots. This is being done for staggered entry into the examination halls while maintaining social distance. Students will be thermally screened and those running a higher temperature than 37.4°C/99.4°F will be made to write the paper in isolation rooms. The temperature of invigilators will also be checked.
Aspirants will have to wash hands, maintain six-feet distance
Not only this, but aspirants will also have to provide a self-declaration that they are not infected by the virus, neither did they come in contact with anyone who tested positive. All aspirants will have to maintain a six-feet distance at all times. Before they enter the examination hall, they will have to wash their hands with soap and water.
Invigilators told to not touch documents of students
Further, to minimize contact, candidates will have to furnish relevant documents, like admit card, from across the table to the invigilator. The in-charge will then allot the aspirant their designated seat in the hall. According to LiveMint, invigilators have been directed to not touch any document at any given point. 50% of invigilators will monitor the exam halls and rest will oversee operations outside.
Students have to remove old masks, will get fresh ones
The notification also said that students will be asked to remove the mask they would wear, for them to receive a fresh one. There won't be water dispensers at the examination centers either. Once the exam gets over, students will have to exit in an orderly fashion to avoid crowding. They will have to throw the gloves and mask in a pedaled dustbin.
SC allowed exams to "save a year"
To recall, the examinations are happening after the Supreme Court dismissed a plea seeking a postponement. The top court concluded that deferring the examinations would jeopardize the careers of students while adding, "Education should be opened up. COVID-19 may continue for a year more. Are you (the petitioner) going to wait for another year?" During the hearing, NTA assured that all precautions will be taken.
Meanwhile, some students still hope exams would be postponed
However, some students disagreed with SC's conclusions, asserting that conducting exams would put them and their families at risk. They also said that with centers at far-off places, reaching there during coronavirus crisis would be problematic. Some politicians like BJP's Subramanian Swamy, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee, Shiv Sena's Aaditya Thackeray, and DMK's MK Stalin also urged the government to defer the examinations.