JEE-NEET: How Do You Write an Already Stressful Exam with Gloves & a Face Shield?

Social Commentary

JEE-NEET: How Do You Write an Already Stressful Exam with Gloves & a Face Shield?

Illustration: Robin Chakraborty

After widespread protests, knocking on the doors of the Supreme Court, an online campaign that got support from Greta Thunberg, and record dislikes on a Mann Ki Baat video, the Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE) finally got underway.

With the coronavirus threat still looming large as cases continue to rise, precautions were in order. Students got their temperatures checked before entering the examination hall, gloves and masks were distributed at various centers, and hand sanitiser stations were placed around the venue.

The National Testing Agency has assured that all SOPs and protocols will be followed to ensure safe exams for the students appearing. Many state governments such as Odisha, Madhya Pradesh, and Jharkhand have resumed transportation services to facilitate travel for the students.

In Bihar, candidates were given fresh masks and had to undergo temperature checks and hand sanitisation process.

In Gorakhpur, announcements were being made for students to maintain social distancing and other measures.

In Odisha, the State government provided travel facilities for students to help them reach the exam centres.

“Today we have the exam of B. Architecture, therefore there are fewer students. It’s good that the exam is being conducted,” said a candidate from Jammu and Kashmir.

Many organisations came out to help students, providing masks, sanitisers and water to aspirants and their parents.

While protocols were being keenly followed at some places, the situation was grim at others. Many students shared pictures on social media, of crowding as well as lack of social distancing measures. It had been the foremost argument against conducting the JEE-NEET exams in these times.

Many examination centres saw a drop in attendances, possibly due to coronavirus concerns. At a Ludhiana centre, 73 of 170 candidates turned up in the morning shift, whereas 105 of 218 candidates appeared in the second shift.

Similar was the case in Assam, where less than 50% examinees appeared on the first day.

JEE exams began from September 1 and will go on till September 6 at 660 centers across the country. Now that the JEE exams are going forward, one hopes safety measures will be adequately followed and as a country, we are able to take care of our students. It would be a tragedy to fail.