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Last Updated : Apr 15, 2020 12:34 PM IST | Source:

Lockdown extension | Fate of exams up in the air, possibility of a shift to online tests

Engineering (JEE Main) and medical entrance exams (NEET) have also been delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown.

The extension of the ongoing lockdown until May 3 has led to uncertainty among students.

Many exams were put on hold following the March 24 announcement of a nationwide lockdown and the containment measures that followed. Most central and state universities were forced to postpone their exams in light of the lockdown. Rajasthan University has already announced an indefinite postponement of all undergraduate and postgraduate exams.

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Odisha Joint Entrance Examination (OJEE) 2020 have also been postponed until further notice, in light of the extension of the nationwide lockdown. The exam was scheduled to be held in the first week of May.

COVID-19 Vaccine

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A vaccine works by mimicking a natural infection. A vaccine not only induces immune response to protect people from any future COVID-19 infection, but also helps quickly build herd immunity to put an end to the pandemic. Herd immunity occurs when a sufficient percentage of a population becomes immune to a disease, making the spread of disease from person to person unlikely. The good news is that SARS-CoV-2 virus has been fairly stable, which increases the viability of a vaccine.

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Vaccine development is a long, complex process. Unlike drugs that are given to people with a diseased, vaccines are given to healthy people and also vulnerable sections such as children, pregnant women and the elderly. So rigorous tests are compulsory. History says that the fastest time it took to develop a vaccine is five years, but it usually takes double or sometimes triple that time.

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Engineering (JEE Main) and medical entrance exams (NEET) have also been delayed due to the COVID-19 lockdown. The National Testing Agency (NTA) had earlier announced that the NEET and JEE Main will be held in the last week of May.

Also Read | COVID-19: Bhilwara and Kerala offer hope during this pandemic

Meanwhile, reports suggested that University of Delhi has been looking at ways to move the semester exams online. A report by the Hindustan Times said that at a meeting of all deans, the possibility of conducting the university exams online was discussed.

However, a report by The Print noted that the University Grants Commission (UGC) does not think the necessary infrastructure for conducting exams online is available in India, hence making such a decision a "remote possibility".

Also Read | Coronavirus lockdown: PM Modi says would consider relaxations from April 20 in areas with no cases

In light of the COVID-19 outbreak, the Indian Army has postponed the common entrance examination, which was earlier scheduled to be conducted on April 26, to May 31.

But students who are due to appear for the Civil Services examination still have no clarity on whether the preliminary examination will be conducted on May 31 as scheduled. The Union Public Service Commission (UPSC), which is in charge of these exams, has not released any notice to this effect yet.

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First Published on Apr 14, 2020 05:21 pm