JEE Main 2020: PEC director suggests ‘10-week plan’ to conduct exam

JEE Main 2020: PEC director suggests ‘10-week plan’ to conduct exam The JEE Main 2020 is scheduled to be conducted between September 1 to 6 (Picture Source: Shutterstock)
R. Radhika | Aug 24, 2020 - 10:42 a.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: To resolve the ongoing debate on conducting Joint Engineering Exam (JEE) Main 2020 amid the coronavirus pandemic, the director of Punjab Engineering College has suggested an alternative method to conduct the exam.

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Based on a cost-benefit analysis, Dheeraj Sanghi, director, PEC has proposed conducting the exams over 10 weeks. This way, Sanghi explains in his blog post, students who are unable to take the exam immediately will have the opportunity to appear for JEE Main on later dates.

"Every week, one lakh or so students can register for the exam. So those who feel safe in their neighbourhood now can take the exam now, and those who think that a few weeks down would be better for them, they can take the exam a few weeks later,” Sanghi wrote in his recent blog. “So those who are arguing for a delay of [two] months, can have a delay of [two] months,” he added.

The former dean of students at Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur argued that the pandemic situation warrants a different approach to give all students a chance to appear for the exam without health risks.

The JEE Main 2020 is scheduled to be conducted between September 1 to 6. The computer-based test will be conducted in two shifts a day for over 8.5 lakh candidates. Since April, the exam has been postponed thrice due to the increasing number of coronavirus cases across the country.

JEE Main exam centre

Addressing the problem of reaching exam centres, Sanghi suggests conducting the exam in a single shift. “The session should be 2-5 PM so that students can travel in the morning, reach the centre, and go back the same evening, without requiring a place of stay in the city of the center,” he explained.

A majority of students in favour of the postponement of the exam have reasoned that the long commute and stay in the exam city will increase the risk of infection. In addition, several parts of the country are currently facing flood-like situations hindering travel for many aspirants.

Suggesting a solution to the problem, Sanghi wrote: “You can ensure that there is at least one centre in each district or [two-three] centres in each large district. Basically, if you ensure that people don't have to travel long distances, the number of candidates in each centre is small, then the probability of infection is reduced tremendously.”

Sanghi also suggested that this year’s registered students who could not appear for the exam should be allowed to take JEE Main 2021.

Admissions and classes

Sanghi, in support of conducting the JEE Mains, wrote: “ We could further ask IITs to take admission based on JEE Main this year, which will save us [four] weeks in the admission process. They could compensate by having a much more liberal branch change rules for this batch.” Admission to IITs is based on JEE Advanced for which clearing JEE Main is the minimum qualification.

Sanghi further explained the need to conduct the examination as several engineering colleges “do not have enough infrastructure to admit twice as many students the next year”. The delay, he wrote, will lead to a “serious reduction of opportunities” for several students.

To compensate for the academic loss caused by the delayed entrance exam, Sanghi suggested utilising a summer term and reduction in the curriculum.

“I think the colleges can postpone the admission by another [two] months, have the next semester take away part or full summer term and let these students use the summer term of 2024 instead for doing credits. So the argument of colleges that they can't afford to have [five] batches simultaneously on campus can be taken care of even if admissions are further postponed by two more months,” he further wrote.

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