Till 9.30 pm on August 31, Venkat R (17) was not sure how he was going to travel from his hometown in Ooty to his JEE exam centre in Coimbatore. “I thought I would miss the exam as there was no mode of transport between the two places. I was googling ways to reach and I came across a portal, Eduride. I reached out to them and they arranged a cab almost immediately. I started at 5.15 am and reached the centre on time. The portal was a lifesaver,” he said.
With lack of transportation emerging as one of the biggest challenges plaguing students sitting for entrance exams amid the pandemic, IIT Delhi students and alumni came together to create the portal to help JEE and NEET aspirants commute from rural and poorly connected areas to their exam centres for free.
Venkat was among the many students in the country who were able to reach their exam centre for the JEE entrance, which started Tuesday, using the portal. He is now staying with a relative in Coimbatore.
Eduride allows students to request for a ride, and 3,500 students have registered on the portal so far. Majority of the students who have registered on the portal are from Bihar, followed by Maharashtra, UP and Delhi. The alumni network aims to reach out to those who cannot afford the commute.
An appeal by IIT-Delhi director Professor V Ramgopal Rao to current students and alumni gave birth to the idea, which then emerged as a nationwide campaign.
In video | How students appeared for JEE amid pandemic
Ravindra Kumar, president of IIT-Delhi Alumni Association, said, “Our aim is to reach those who live in remote parts of the country. The service is available to those who have to travel over 20 km. Today was the first day and the response was quite satisfactory. The longest ride was 210 km in Bihar and the average distance was 100 km. We have collaborated with various apps such as Ola, AHA Taxis and Gozo cabs.”
The JEE entrance exam is being conducted in different centres across the country from September 1-6, while NEET will be held on September 13. Students can register on the portal three days prior to the exam.
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