As many as 45 lakh students preparing for major competitive examinations scheduled over the next three months are stranded as the nationwide lockdown will upset the examination calendar by at least a month.
JEE (Advanced), JEE (Main), NEET, UGC-NET, CSIR UGC-NET and Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) AIEEA scheduled in April, May and June will be affected by the lockdown, officials told The Indian Express.
Of these, the government has already postponed JEE (Main), which was going to be held between April 7 and 11, and NEET on May 3. JEE (Main) is the gateway exam for admission to the National Institutes of Technology.
The anticipated delay may extend beyond a month if the lockdown doesn’t end on April 15. “Some of the major entrance tests, over the next few months, are being conducted by one body, which is the National Testing Agency. There is a process for every exam — starting from conduct of the test to evaluation and declaration of results — so any change in one will have a cascading effect on the ones that follow,” an official said.
This could also affect the undergraduate admission schedule and the new academic year at the institutions which base their admission on these examinations, officials said.
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There are roughly 16 lakh candidates registered to appear for the medical entrance test NEET and 9 lakh for JEE (Main). The registration process is still on for the teacher eligibility test UGC-NET, CSIR UGC-NET and the entrance examinations for admission to ICAR. The government expects 9 lakh to 10 lakh candidates to register for each of the first two tests and 2.5 lakh for ICAR. Some candidates may be common among these exams.
IIT-Delhi, which is the organising institute for the JEE (Advanced) this year, had called a meeting this week to discuss changes to the examination schedule. “Once JEE (Main) is delayed, then a delay in JEE (Advanced) is inevitable,” said a senior professor of IIT-Delhi. Every year, roughly 1.5 lakh to 2 lakh candidates appear for JEE (Advanced) for entry to the IITs. These candidates are selected out of the JEE (Main) candidate pool.
Competitive examinations aside, CBSE examination results for Classes 12 are also expected to be delayed by a month, at least. “We are left with 41 papers of Class 10 and 12, of which six are major papers of Class 12: Business Studies, Hindi (Core and Elective), Home Science, Sociology and Information Practice and Computer Science. Last year the results were announced by May 2. That seems unlikely this year. We are looking at a delay of at least a month, provided the lockdown ends on April 14,” a senior CBSE official said.
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