The first two sessions of JEE (Main) were held on 1 September amid stringent safety measures in view of the COVID-19 pandemic, with no technical glitches or breach of standard operating procedures being reported from any of the over 500 centres across the country.
The elaborate measures to maintain strict social distancing coupled with logistical support of the state governments ensured a smooth start to exams to be held till 6 September. The test had been postponed twice due to the pandemic.
The candidates were allotted staggered entry time and their body temperature was checked at the exam centres, followed by sanitisation. The complete process from entry at the main gate to the allotted seat was contact-less. There was staggered exit after exams as well.
The first day was for BArch/ B Planning aspirants (Paper 2), which was conducted over two sessions. Around 53,500 aspirants had registered for the test. From 2 September, the exam for BE/BTech (Paper 1) will be held over eight sessions.
“JEE Exam was conducted smoothly all over the country. I would like to thank all the state governments and officials of National Testing Agency. Many governments provided free transportation and accommodation as well,” said Amit Khare, secretary (higher education) in education ministry.
In Odisha, many aspirants availed free transport as well as accommodation provided by the government.
P Soundarya, who travelled 580km to reach Bhubaneswar, said: “My family members contacted the principal of the government-run ITI regarding transportation and accommodation issues. The government brought me to Bhubaneswar in a vehicle and provided accommodation in a hostel of a private university. I did not pay a single rupee for all these facilities.”
Soundarya was not an exception as many others like Debasmita Sahoo, P Sandhya, Abhinas Mohanta and Anuj Mohanta and Anuj Mirdha availed free government facilities to take the exam.
Priyanshu Kumbhare, who appeared at a centre in Wadi, Nagpur, said: “I was pleasantly surprised to see the level of planning. There was no crowding at the main gate where social distancing was ensured. After checking admit cards, temperature scanning was done. Then after sanitisation, they gave me a sealed mask and finally guided me to my allotted room. Before entry again sanitisation was done.”
However, in front of a few centres, parents and guardians accompanying the candidates breached the SOPs set by NTA as they didn’t leave the venue.
A total of 9.58 lakh aspirants has registered for the computer-based test to be conducted till September 6 over 10 sessions across 660 centres.
The command centre at the NTA’s office in Noida monitored each centre live and also scanned the social media to respond to any ‘misleading’ information.