Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday said students wanted the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET-UG) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE-Main) to be held as over 17 lakh candidates had downloaded the admit cards in 24 hours.
After the Supreme Court on August 18 dismissed a petition by a group of students to further postpone the exams due to to the pandemic, the National Testing Agency recently started issuing admit cards for the exams to be held in September.
Mr. Pokhriyal said students had been writing to him, the Ministry and the NTA, asking for the exams to be held after they were postponed from April and May to July, and then September, according to a statement given to news agency ANI. The Minister said they didn't want one year to be wasted.
He said the NTA Director General had informed him that 7.5 lakh of the 8.58 lakh JEE candidates and 10 lakh of the 15.97 lakh NEET candidates had downloaded their admit cards in 24 hours.
He said guidelines for safety during the pandemic would be followed for the exams and the students shouldn't be worried. The Union Health and Education Ministries as well as the NTA were in constant communication with State governments to ensure the guidelines would be followed, he said.
He said the number of exam centres had been increased from 570 to 660 for JEE Main and from 2,546 to 3,843 for NEET (UG). Candidates had been allotted the centres as per their convenience, he said.