Close to 45% of candidates in Gujarat chose to skip the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) which began on Tuesday given the COVID-19 pandemic. The JEE is the entrance exam for admission to engineering and pharmacy courses across the country.
Media reports quoted senior education department officials as saying that usually 25% of those who apply for the entrance test skip it in normal years. But this year, the percentage of absentee candidates is close to 45% which is very high. They blamed the COVID-19 pandemic for the same.
The state in a release said 38,167 students registered for the JEE exams which were to be conducted in 32 centres in 13 districts between September 1 to 6. The National Testing Agency conducts the JEE exams across the country.
“Of the 3,020 registered students for the first day, only 1,664 (55%) remained present. 1,356 (45%) candidates were absent. Usually, the absentee percentage is around 25% every year,” said an official associated with the exams in Gujarat.
Students across the country are protesting the holding of NEET and JEE exams. But Gujarat Education Minister Bhupendrasinh Chudasama had on Monday said the state will go ahead with the exams after taking all necessary precautions.
Over 1 lakh students appeared for GUJCET exams
Close to 1.06 lakh students across 34 centres in Gujarat appeared for the GUJCET exams which were held on August 24. In all 1.27 lakh students had registered for the exams.
The chemistry and physics exams were conducted in the morning while biology and mathematics part of GUJCET exams were held in the afternoon.
The exams were held as per the COVID-19 guidelines which meant students were scanned with thermal scanners. They were also given sanitisers and everyone had to mandatorily wear masks.
All the exams centres were sanitised and each class had just 20 students. A team of doctors was also available at each centre. This was the first such offline exam to be held in Gujarat with such large participation since the pandemic began.
GUJCET was postponed earlier
Initially, the exams were scheduled to be held on March 31. The board had also released the admit card for the exam in March. However, they had to be postponed in wake of the coronavirus pandemic and ensuing nation-wide lockdown. The exams were cancelled thrice before it was finally held in August.
The GUJCET exams are held for Groups A, B, and AB students of Class 12 science stream for admission to degree/ diploma programmes in engineering and pharmacy in Gujarat.
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