Even as the state records an increase in coronavirus cases, the Karnataka government Tuesday announced that candidates who have tested positive for Covid-19 but are asymptomatic will be permitted to attend the Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) 2020, scheduled to be held on July 30 and 31. Over 1.94 lakh candidates have enrolled for the entrance test.
Confirming the same, Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan said, “KCET 2020 will take place as scheduled on July 30 and 31 adhering to all guidelines issued by the Health Department. All Deputy Commissioners have been directed to arrange exclusive exam centres and rooms for candidates who are asymptomatic and have tested positive for Covid-19.”
Reiterating that the state government will ensure safety of candidates and invigilators attending the exam, he said ambulances will be arranged for those at Covid Care Centres for pick-up and drop facilities.
Further, Ashwathnarayan, who is also in charge of the Higher Education Department said students who are travelling from other states to take the entrance exam will be exempted from quarantine rules. “As many as 1871 candidates from outside the state are expected to appear for the test. They will be exempted from home quarantine norms and will be allowed to say in Karnataka for 96 hours,” he added.
Meanwhile, 30 students will travel from other countries to the state to take the exam. “They (overseas candidates) have been intimated about the same long back and have been given enough and more time to be at their respective locations to take the entrance test,” the minister said.
Of the total 1,94,356 candidates writing the exam in 497 exam centres across the state, 40,200 are from Bengaluru alone. As many as 83 exam centres are there in the capital city.
The decision to conduct the examinations was taken by the government despite demands from several student organisations and leaders citing a potential risk due to the ongoing pandemic situation.
“The situation now in the state is alarming and the government asking us to attend the exams amid this pandemic is totally non-acceptable. The situation has worsened from how it was when the final PU exam was conducted. I was expecting that the Minister will announce another date for KCET today,” Divya Gowda, a candidate said.
However, Minister Ashwathnarayan said the decision to conduct the examination as planned was taken in the “best interest of our students.” He added that the higher education of the students was not something to be compromised. “There’s no need to worry. Karnataka has been successful in conducting SSLC and PU exams. All measures taken then and more will be strictly followed at each centre to ensure KCET 2020 is conducted without any worries,” he said.
While candidates will attend Biology and Mathematics papers on July 30, they will answer Physics and Chemistry papers on July 31. The pen-and-paper examination is conducted by the Karnataka Examinations Authority, which is also in charge of allocating seats to various colleges to the students.
Govt decision to conduct KCET in interest of pvt lobby, not students: AIDSO
Criticising the decision to conduct KCET 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the All India Democratic Students’ Organisation (AIDSO) Karnataka State committee termed it “anti-student.”
“While the pandemic is rising bounds and leaps, the uniform demand of the students, teachers, and parents was to postpone CET. The government has acted exactly opposite to it. The government has taken this decision in the interest of private management lobby,” Ajay Kamath, State Secretary, AIDSO told Indianexpress.com.
“From the past many days, students across state had been protesting to postpone KCET. The students also had expressed their worry about safety of their own and families’ lives,” a statement issued by AIDSO minutes after Deputy Chief Minister C N Ashwathnarayan announced that the exam will take place on July 30 and 31 mentioned.
“At this moment, AIDSO appeals to all the students to keep their self-confidence to challenge this anti-student government and the examination,” Kamath added.
Karnataka CET: Kerala candidates, families to be in home quarantine after exam
The Kerala government Wednesday decided to impose home quarantine for Karnataka Common Entrance Test (KCET) candidates and families after the exam.
#KCET2020: Students, parents attending entrance exam in #Karnataka from #Kerala on July 30,31 to be in home quarantine for 7 days after exam. To undergo mandatory antigen #Covid19 testing on fifth day, Kerala govt informs. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/SrlhFQcnf4
— Ralph Alex Arakal (@ralpharakal) July 22, 2020
On completing the exam on July 31, candidates and families should be in room quarantine for seven days. They will also be subjected to antigen tests on the fifth day,” Kasaragod District Collector D Sajith Babu informed.
He added that the Kerala government will ferry candidates to Thalappady checkpost in Kasaragod on July 30 and 31.
“While the Karnataka government will ferry students from the checkpost to their exam centres, candidates should not use any other mode of transport for the same,” he added.
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