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Thermal screening, isolation rooms — how govt plans to hold NEET, JEE Mains amid Covid risks

National Testing Agency has issued advisories for candidates and invigilators. The two exams are scheduled for next month even as students seek a postponement.

Representational image for college students | Photo: PTI
Representational image of college students | Photo: PTI

New Delhi: In the wake of Covid-19 risks, the National Testing Agency (NTA) has issued detailed advisories for exam centre invigilators and candidates for the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Mains and the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), set to be held next month.

For admission to engineering colleges, JEE Mains is scheduled from 1 to 6 September, while the NEET, which is for admission to medical colleges, is to be conducted on 13 September.

Looking to minimise the risk of infection, the NTA in its advisories has called for separate isolation rooms for candidates showing Covid symptoms. It has also directed the use of fresh masks, to be provided at the centre, apart from guidelines on social distancing, use of sanitisers and thermal screening.

The agency has issued two advisories for candidates and invigilators over the last two days.
The move came even as students have urged the Ministry of Education to postpone the exams amid rising Covid cases in the country. However, the NTA, which functions under the ministry, has already clarified that the exams won’t be postponed.

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What NTA has said

Keeping in mind the large number of students who will be appearing for the exams, the NTA has said it is focusing on the best possible arrangements and safety protocols.

“All staff members and candidates to be checked with thermo guns at the entry point for fever. In case, any staff person and candidate is observed to be having above normal temperature or displaying any symptom of Covid-19 suspect, they will be placed in separate Isolation Room,” one of the advisories said.

Candidates displaying high temperature or are suspected to have Covid will be allowed to write their exam in isolation rooms.

In its advisory for candidates, the agency has asked for self-declaration, stating that they do not have any Covid-like symptoms and have not come in contact with anybody who tested positive or had any symptoms in the recent past.

This form will have to be filled in advance and signed in front of the invigilator at the respective exam centres.

The advisory also said a candidate can be denied entry into the examination hall if he/she violates the Covid directives applicable on the day of the exam.

“Candidates are required to strictly adhere to instructions provided by centre staff. Please observe that no-one will be denied permission to appear for examination, until he/ she violates the covid-19 directives/advisories of Government (Central/State) applicable on the day of exam and instructions mentioned in the Admit Card,” it said.

Directions to be followed while entering exam hall

To avoid crowding at the time of entry into the exam halls, the agency said students will be given staggered reporting slots.

“The staggering of time slots will be done to ensure uniform distribution of candidates across rooms during entry at the examination centres,” the advisory for invigilators read.

While entering the exam centres, candidates will need to maintain a gap of at least 6 feet from each other at all times. They will also be required to sanitise hands with soap before entry.

At the centres, the candidates will also be given a fresh three-ply mask before entering the exam hall. Old masks will have to be removed.

“On completion of a shift, the candidates will be permitted to move out in an orderly manner one candidate at a time. Please wait for instructions from the invigilator and do not get up from your seat until advised,” the advisory said.

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