After numerous setbacks in administering the Engineering and Medical Entry Exam — JEE Main and NEET — students worry that any more postponement may impact their academic year overall. As previously reported by many coaching institutes, students raise questions about the delay and consider it difficult to remain concentrated in the long term.
The JEE Main, to be conducted in April, has now been delayed until September and NEET has been delayed twice, too. It is expected to take place in September. Several specialists have already advised that candidates now have better odds of having a successful rank due to a longer delay and more preparation. The cut-off would, therefore, increase, as the demand is fairly high. There are, however, candidates who appeared in January for JEE Main and are now training for Advanced as they feel there will not be enough time remaining for it after Main.
Most participants, though, took Twitter to share their worries over conducting the exams amidst the pandemic. Another group of students and scholars is calling on the authorities not to delay the competitive admission test any longer. Students from deprived communities or cultures claim that it will be impossible for them to keep up with online learning because they lack the necessary tools.
On the contrary, Twitter’s #postponeJEENEET trend which has been a persistent request from students over the months. Currently, even though the exams have been delayed until September, a group of students are already taking to social networking sites to suggest a further extension. Meanwhile, some professors, educators and students suggest that a longer pause could be more harmful than beneficial.
The IIT-Delhi director has also recently commented on the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE). V Ramagopal Rao explained in a video interview that despite the delay, carrying out such exams is necessary since a large section of students start studying for competitive exams from class 9 or 10 onwards. The confusion poses a big challenge for them.
IIT-Delhi, this year’s JEE Advanced 2020 organizer, said that although some of the obstacles were unusual in this year’s test, the Institute is ready for it. The director explained, “These exams are held in various centres and managed by various companies and due to the COVID pandemic, the number of centres can be increased to twice as needed normally to ensure social distancing while sitting and entering the exam centre.” This was a new challenge this year.
Around 2-2.5 lakh students who are in JEE Main’s top ranks are qualified to appear for JEE Advanced each year. Rao had said earlier that about 80 centres were required across the region, which has now been extended to approximately 180 centres. This year IIT-Delhi holds JEE Advanced. JEE Advanced is only carried out in a single session that Rao considers to be a unique problem, unlike Main, which takes place in several sessions. He also told that during the Advanced session, masks and sanitisers will be allowed this year.
Not just IITs but to ensure that students resume their college life on time, the colleges are making several changes in the admission process. After exams and before admissions, students will be selected based on counselling.
The IITs recommend announcing the JEE Advanced test result within one week. The NTA has also said it will announce results at the earliest for JEE Main and NEET, too. Students have to report for counselling on clearing JEE Advanced. IITs are scheduled to hold six counselling rounds this year, rather than seven. All of the publicly sponsored institutes, NITs and IITs have decided to scrap the admissions criteria for the board exam. Earlier scores of 75 per cent were a must alongside clearing the entrance test. Now, students just have to complete the exam and there will be no minimum cut-off as earlier.
Many universities are offering students COVID-19 scholarships. To ensure that students or parents don’t face a massive financial burden, universities opt for deferred instalments, tuition loans without interest to be repaid after the student’s placement or other options. Many initiatives such as conducting classes in two groups, treating a university as a bubble environment and ensuring safe and sanitized transportation for students are among other aspects provided to ensure wellbeing.
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