COVID-19 cases are surging every day. Daily cases have crossed 20,000 on two consecutive days. During such a fatal pandemic, it is questionable whether conducting JEE Main 2020 is important or not. There is a deep impact on mental health of students due to lockdowns and the negative news. MHRD has postponed the second session of JEE Main 2020 till 1st September 2020. September is almost 2 months away from today i.e. 4th July. Will there be any progress in controlling the spread by the end of August? Academic session has already been delayed by over 3 months. And now, by over 5 months. That is almost half a year. Could this degrade the quality of education?
Why September 2020?
The Ministry of Human Resources Development set up the committee to postpone the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020. Director General of NTA, Vineet Joshi, chaired this committee. Suggestions from this committee were taken by the MHRD and the JEE Main exam was postponed from July to September 2020. A large number of exam centres still fall in the containment zones. Considering this, postponing the exams was unavoidable. As per the reports, around 40 exam centres of JEE Main are still under containment zones. More than 1 lakh candidates have preferred these exam centres.
September seemed like a safest and earliest bet. NTA confirmed with the service agency responsible for online exam centres, if September 2020 would be feasible for the exams. After confirmation, recommendations were submitted to the government.
There seems to be no proper explanation to why September dates were chosen. Many students were of the opinion that by the end of August, there will be even more requests to cancel the exams completely. ICAI has decided to scrap their May 2020 attempt of CA exams. The exams will now be conducted in November 2020. Something here to notice is that around 3 to 4 lakh students appear for CA IPCC and CA Final exams. While JEE Main has more than 10 lakh applicants. With high numbers, risk of infection is also pretty high.
What about JEE Main 2020 Results?
JEE Main 2020 will be an online, computer-based exam. The JEE Main Result can be published within a week of conducting the exam. But considering the high delay caused by the pandemic, NTA might even publish the JEE Main Result within 5 days of the exam. On the other hand, NEET 2020 is conducted in pen-paper mode. Considering the urgency, NTA could publish the NEET result within 20 days of the exam.
But what about JEE Advanced Results?
IIT-Delhi is responsible for conducting JEE Advanced 2020. Similar to JEE Main, it will also be a computer-based online exam. Considering the delay, JEE Advanced Results could be declared within 7 to 8 days of the exam. JEE Advanced has been rescheduled for 27th September 2020.
Impact on Academic Calendar of 2021
This is something very intricate and requires a better planning and understanding. The academic calendar for 2021 has been delayed for students by over 5 months. For students who will be joining the first year of college, they are almost 4 months behind schedule. If students are forced to study the complete curriculum, it will turn out to be very difficult with little time left. This will put them under pressure, when many are already facing anxiety over admissions.
The government seems to be aiming at completing the counselling and admission process of JEE Main 2020 by the mid of November 2020. With JEE Advanced 2020 at the end of Sept 2020, colleges would fill the seats during counselling in October. By the end of November or start of December 2020, students could start their classes. Will colleges push the academic calendars further? Education is important and most course curriculums start with basics. Without proper knowledge, would it not degrade the education quality of the country? More questions are to be answered. Students can do nothing but patiently wait. Please be safe and wash your hands!