NEET, APSC prelims today; Assam faces massive task of conducting exams offline amid pandemic

GUWAHATI: The administration is facing a massive challenge of conducting NEET and the Assam Public Service Commission (APSC) examinations with all Covid protocols in place in greater Guwahati on Sunday.

Kamrup (Metro) and Kamrup districts will witness the movement of thousands of students as around 18,000 registered NEET aspirants are supposed to appear in the all-India entrance test from 46 exam centres. Including the aspirants of the prelims of the APSC combined competitive exam (CCE), the number of total examinees is likely to be over 40,000.

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“It’s a major challenge to ensure the proper movement of such a huge number of students in a single day amid the pandemic. After the board exams were cancelled this year, conducting NEET and APSC exams together is the first major challenge so far considering the students’ health,” said an official of the district administration.

“All steps are being taken to maintain Covid protocols in the exam centres, though maintaining distance outside the centres may not be easier,” the official added.

Total 141 centres have been earmarked in Guwahati and its outskirts for the two exams. While thermal screening of candidates and masks are mandatory during entry, an official of the National Testing Agency (NTA) said examinees won’t be allowed to exchange any item, like water bottles, among themselves. A maximum of 12 students will be allowed in an exam hall, an NTA official said.

“It’s a matter of great relief that none of the NEET aspirants in Guwahati is Covid-positive. However, police and the administration have been intimated about the crowd that may emerge outside exam halls as guardians accompany the examinees,” the official added.

The government of India has written to the state chief secretaries, while the Union education minister has also written to the chief ministers to take up all possible measures to control any adversity that may arise for holding the exam offline.

The APSC exam will commence at 9:30 am, while the NEET exam is scheduled to be held from 2 pm to 5 pm.

“Both the exams will conclude by 5 pm. The traffic towards the evening needs to be managed carefully,” the official said.

In the APSC prelims, 24,000 candidates are scheduled to appear from 95 centres in Kamrup (Metro). “Candidates, who are yet to be vaccinated, will have to furnish valid Covid-negative certificates. All other Covil protocols will be strictly followed,” said Kamrup (Metro) deputy commissioner Biswajit Pegu.




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