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JEE-Mains: Rain, flood affect exam in Maharashtra; Bengal candidates face transport woes

Maharashtra Minister Vijay Wadettiwar on Tuesday said students from flood-affected areas in the state can make a representation to the National Testing Agency through respective district collectors.

Published: 02nd September 2020 03:25 AM  |   Last Updated: 02nd September 2020 10:15 AM   |  A+A-

The Joint Entrance Exams (JEE)-Main for admission to engineering colleges began on Tuesday and will go on till September 6. (Photo | PTI)

By Express News Service

MUMBAI/SRINAGAR/KOLKATA: The Nagpur Bench of the Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to defer the prestigious Joint Entrance Exams (JEE), but asked the authorities to consider re-exams for students who missed their exams due the flood situation and unavailability of transport.

“If a student was unable to sit for the exam due to the flood situation, a representation can be made through the local agency to the apex body of the JEE-Main Examination, which shall be considered after making inquiries from the centre’s coordinator and the district collector,” said the court.

The hearing took place just half-an-hour before the exam was due to begin.

Earlier, the Additional Solicitor General assured the court that those unable to take the exam because of the floods could make a representation to the coordinator of the agency conducting the exam in the district.

Maharashtra Minister Vijay Wadettiwar on Tuesday said students from flood-affected areas in the state can make a representation to the National Testing Agency through respective district collectors if they fail to appear for the JEE-NEET exams.

The Joint Entrance Exams (JEE)-Main for admission to engineering colleges began on Tuesday and will go on till September 6, while the medical entrance exam NEET is scheduled for September 13.

Wadettiwar, minister for relief and rehabilitation in the Uddhav Thackeray government, said the state would protect the interest of all students, adding that the NTA will take an appropriate decision on such representations.

The Vidarbha region of Maharashtra is witnessing floods, leaving several parts cut off from the main cities.

The exam centres include Nagpur, Chandrapur, Wardha, Amravati and Akola in Vidarbha, and over 15,000 students are expected to appear for the exams.

Over 53,000 people have been evacuated from 175 villages of Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur and Gadchiroli districts in Vidarbha due to flooding after heavy rains and release of water from dams, officials said on Tuesday.

Problems in Bengal, J&K

Candidates appearing for JEE (Main) examination in West Bengal had a difficult time reaching their test centres on Tuesday morning owing to heavy rain and lack of transport.

The government had asked all state transport utilities to commence bus services from 5 am in view of the exam, but several candidates in North 24 Parganas, Berhampur, Malda and Siliguri claimed that they had to wait for hours, braving downpour, to get a bus to reach their test centres.

Suspension of local train services due to the COVID-19 pandemic added to the woes of the candidates.

"I had to hire a cab to reach the centre at TCS Gitobitan in Salt Lake from Khardah (North 24 Parganas) as no direct bus was available. It would have been easier if the trains plied," Subham Das, one of the candidates, said.

Adequate safety measures have been taken to ensure the safety of the students, a spokesperson at TCS Gitobitan said.

"Candidates were allowed inside after thermal screening. Not more than 12 were accommodated in a room. The entire campus has been sanitised for the purpose," he said.

Several kilometres away, at DPS Ruby Park in south Kolkata, another centre earmarked for JEE (Main) exam, the drill was more or less the same, with students maintaining social distancing norms while entering the hall.

The Bengal government had earlier opposed the Centre's decision to conduct JEE(Main) and NEET exams, contending that students would be exposed to health hazards amid the pandemic.

However, state education minister Partha Chatterjee had on Monday said that he would no longer comment on the matter as the Centre has entrusted the NTA to take necessary measures for the safety of the students.

Candidates were allowed inside a centre after thermal screening. Not more than 12 were accommodated in a room.In J&K, fears of Covid-19 infection resulted in  many JEE aspirants from the Valley staying overnight in mosques in Srinagar.

The exam was scheduled at Rangreth centre in Budgam district.

Shabir Ahmad Bhat, father of a candidate, said many other aspirants too reached the centre at 7 am. He said there were no transportation facilities and parents ferried their children on their own.

Another parent Zahid Ahmad said they faced lot of difficulty in getting the Covid testing done.

The government had made it mandatory for the candidate appearing in the JEE man exam to carry Covid-19 negative report.

(With PTI Inputs)

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