NEW DELHI: Engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains scheduled to be held from April 27-30 has been postponed in view of the COVID-19 situation, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal 'Nishank' announced on Sunday.
"Given the current #covid19 situation, I have advised @DG_NTA to postpone the JEE (Main) 2021 April Session.
I would like to reiterate that safety of our students & their academic career are @EduMinOfIndia's and my prime concerns right now," Nishank tweeted.
According to an official order by the National Testing Agency (NTA), "looking at the present situation of COVID-19 pandemic and also taking into account the safety and well being of candidates and examination functionaries, it has been decided to postpone JEE-(Main) April session".
"The revised dates will be announced later on and at least 15 days before the examination," the order said.
Starting this year, the exam will be conducted four times a year to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores.
While the first phase was conducted in February followed by the second phase in March.
The next phases were scheduled to be held in April and May.
Over 6.2 lakh candidates appeared in the first session while 5.5 lakh candidates appeared in the second session of the exam.
As per the policy, after the February, March, April, and May Session of JEE(Main)-2021 Exam, the ranks of the candidates will be released taking into consideration the best of the four NTA scores.
Earlier this week, the CBSE had cancelled class 10 board exams and postponed class 12 exams in view of the exponential rise in cases.
The CISCE board followed the move besides several state boards who have either cancelled or postponed board exams.
The announcement comes on a day when a record single-day rise of 2,61,500 coronavirus infections took India's total tally of COVID-19 cases to 1,47,88,109, while active cases went past the 18-lakh mark.
The death toll increased to 1,77,150 with a record 1,501 new fatalities, the Union Health Ministry data updated at 8 am Sunday showed.
Registering a steady increase for the 39th day in a row, the active cases stand at 18,01,316, comprising 12.18 per cent of the total infections, while the national COVID-19 recovery rate has dropped to 86.62 per cent, the ministry said.
The number of people who have recuperated from the disease surged to 1,28,09,643, while the case fatality rate has further dropped to 1.20 per cent, the data stated.
India's COVID-19 tally had crossed 20 lakh on August 7, 30 lakh on August 23, 40 lakh on September 5 and 50 lakh on September 16.
It went past 60 lakh on September 28, 70 lakh on October 11, crossed 80 lakh on October 29, 90 lakh on November 20 and surpassed the one-crore mark on December 19.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, 26,65,38,416 samples have been tested up to April 17 with 15,66,394 samples being tested on Saturday.
The 1,501 new fatalities include 419 from Maharashtra, 167 from Delhi, 158 from Chhattisgarh, 120 from Uttar Pradesh, 97 from Gujarat, 80 from Karnataka, 66 from Madhya Pradesh, 62 from Punjab and 39 from Tamil Nadu.
These fresh fatalities also include 37 each from Rajasthan and Uttarakhand, 34 each from Bihar and West Bengal, 32 from Haryana, 30 from Jharkhand, 27 from Kerala, 15 each from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh and 12 from Himachal Pradesh.
The ministry said a total of 1,77,150 deaths have been reported so far in the country including 59,970 from Maharashtra, 13,270 from Karnataka, 13,071 from Tamil Nadu, 11,960 from Delhi, 10,540 from West Bengal, 9,703 from Uttar Pradesh, 7,834 from Punjab and 7,388 from Andhra Pradesh.
The health ministry stressed that more than 70 per cent of the deaths occurred due to co-morbidities.