India

Govt. sticks to KEAM schedule, ignores calls to postpone exam

KEAM 2020, the Kerala entrance examination for admission to various professional degree courses, will be held across the State and in centres in Mumbai, New Delhi and Dubai on July 16 as scheduled earlier.

A high-level meeting chaired by Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan here on July 13 decided to stick to the schedule notwithstanding concerns raised by numerous candidates over the massive spike in COVID-19 cases and the enforcement of triple lockdown in several parts of the State.

The examination has been a subject of much consternation lately with both students and teachers demanding its postponement on account of the critical situation that prevailed in the State. The demand appeared to have gained momentum after the Centre decided to postpone the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), both Main and Advanced, and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) to September.

However, the government chose to go ahead with the existing plan on account of the extent of preparation that has gone into conducting the examination. The question papers have already been dispatched to the Dubai and Mumbai centres. Efforts were also underway to identify an alternative centre in New Delhi after the original venue was deemed not viable for the purpose.

Candidates from containment zones will not have to travel elsewhere

According to a senior official who attended the discussion, centres will be identified within containment zones to ensure candidates from such areas were not required to travel elsewhere. While hall tickets have already been issued to the candidates, the office of the Commissioner for Entrance Examinations (CEE) will reach out to these aspirants and inform them of the alternative arrangement.

“If by any chance a candidate arrives at the originally-allotted examination centre, they will be provided separate rooms to attend the examination. Similarly, separate rooms have been earmarked for students undergoing quarantine, displaying symptoms and those coming from other States including Tamil Nadu and Karnataka,” the official said.

With little emerging evidence that pointed towards an end of the pandemic in the near future, the meeting was of the unanimous view that a further postponement (the examination was originally slated to be held on April 20 and 21) will prove to become meaningless and could also jeopardise the careers of higher education aspirants. Besides, numerous candidates have already obtained ‘short visit passes’ from the government’s COVID-19 Jagratha portal to enter the State.

As many as 339 examinations centres have been arranged in various parts of the State. Nearly 1,12,000 students have registered for the examination that will have two papers – Paper 1: Physics and Chemistry and Paper 2: Mathematics – that will be held from 10 a.m. to 12.30 p.m. and from 2.30 a.m. to 5 p.m. respectively.

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