The National Testing Agency (NTA) is planning a structure of odd-even scheme of seating for the upcoming JEE Main 2020 exam and NEET UG 2020 exam that are scheduled for September 2020.
In an interview with DD News, Vineet Doshi, Director General of NTA said this is a big logistics operation. He added that there has been an increase in the number of rooms in the examination centres and staggered seating.
"When it comes to NEET (UG) 2020, in one room there will be 12 students seated instead of 25 earlier. In JEE Main 2020 when there are two shifts, alternate computers will be used for the online exam. So if an odd number computer is used in the morning shift, even number computers will be used in the second shift," he added.
Doshi added that the social distancing norms of the home affairs ministry on social distancing and six-feet distance will be followed.
"Probably some students and parents are apprehensive about whether the standard operating protocols are followed properly. We want to ensure them that all SOPs have been strictly followed. We need to save this academic year for the students and hence the JEE Main/NEET 2020 exams are being held," he added.
Doshi explained that the examinations have already been postponed twice and that the academic year has been delayed due to the pandemic. He said that holding the exams is hence in the best interest of the students.
He said so far 738,000 candidates have downloaded JEE Main 2020 admit cards so far. NEET admit cards were released at 12 pm today. A total of 430,000 candidates downloaded NEET 2020 admit cards till 2.30 pm.
"We have received representations for both holding the examinations and postponing them. The reluctance from a few candidates comes from concerns about safety. But we are taking full care of it. Looking at the number of admit cards downloaded for JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020, the student response has generally been positive towards these exams," he added.
At the examination centres, Doshi said students will be let in with a time interval of 30-40 minutes, He added that there will be a queue manager outside every centre who will ensure that candidates stand in the specific marked spots maintaining six feet distance.
"In case a student's residential location becomes a containment zone, their admit cards will be the pass for them to travel," he added.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) had clarified on August 25 that the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 examinations will be held as per schedule. The testing body said the number of examination centres for JEE Main and NEET 2020 has been increased to 660 and 3,843 from 570 and 2,546, respectively.
JEE Main 2020 is the entrance examination for admission into engineering colleges. It will be held between September 1 and September 6. NEET 2020 is the entrance examination for entry into undergraduate medical courses and is scheduled for September 13.
A slew of personalities including West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Maharashtra chief minister Uddhav Thackeray, climate activist Greta Thunberg have sought that JEE and NEET be postponed.
The Supreme Court had on August 17 dismissed pleas to direct NTA to postpone JEE Main and NEET due to the coronavirus pandemic.