New Delhi: The Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) will be conducted in September as scheduled, officials in the Ministry of Education said on Friday.

While NEET is scheduled on September 13, JEE-Mains will be held from September 1-6.

In a statement, the ministry’s National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts these exams, said over 6.4 lakh candidates have downloaded their admit cards for the engineering entrance exam, JEE-Main.

It said 6,49,223 candidates have downloaded their admit cards, so far, against a total of 8,58,273.

“The NTA is happy to share with the JEE (Main) 2020 candidates that it has been able to offer the first choice of preference of centre cities to 99.07 per cent of the candidates,” it said.

The statement said that “142 candidates have subsequently requested for a change in their allotted centre city due to various reasons, and the NTA is considering these requests positively.

It said as far as, “NEET (UG)-2020 is concerned, again for the first time, candidates of this examination were given opportunity five times to change their choice of the centre city”.

A total of 95,000 candidates availed the same and they have been accommodated against their revised choices, the NTA said in the statement.

Ministry officials asserted that the JEE (Main) and the NEET exams will be conducted in September as scheduled.

There have been demands from several students and parents to further postpone the entrance exams in view of increasing coronavirus cases.

The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a plea seeking postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations, which are scheduled to be conducted in September, amid spurt in number of COVID-19 cases, saying precious year of students “cannot be wasted” and life has to go on.

The NTA said it has made elaborate arrangements to sanitise centres before and after the examinations, and give fresh masks and hand gloves.

“The NTA has also prepared a comprehensive advisory regarding COVID-19 for all functionaries for centre management, the testing agency said.

In order to solicit support of states for maintaining law and order, power supply, facilitation of movement of candidates and exam functionaries, crowd management in front of exam centres, “we have also written to the state chief secretaries, DGPs, and DMs/ SPs of the concerned cities”, the NTA said.

Universities and schools across the country have been closed since March 16, when the Centre announced a countrywide classroom shut down as part of measures to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.

A nationwide lockdown was imposed on March 25. While several restrictions have been eased, schools and colleges continue to be closed.

The crucial exams have been postponed several times because of the pandemic situation.

Source: PTI