Govt wanting into solutions of conducting JEE-Primary four occasions from 2021: Schooling minister

New Delhi, December 10

The government is examining suggestions about conducting the Joint Entrance Examination-Main four times from next year to ensure that the candidates do not miss out on opportunities due to clash of examinations or the COVID-19 situation, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said on Thursday.

In a live interaction with students, teachers and parents, Pokhriyal ruled out any reduction in syllabus for engineering entrance exam JEE-Main or medical entrance exam NEET.

“The suggestion of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main 2021 to be held four times in a year will be examined positively, beginning in the end of February, thereafter in March, April and May-2021, for three to four days during each time.

“The syllabus for JEE (Main 2021) will remain same as the previous year and a proposal is under examination where students will be given choice to answer 75 questions (25 questions each in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics) out of 90 questions (30 questions each in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics),” the minister said.

He mentioned that for JEE (Main) 2020, there were 75 questions which had to be answered by the candidates (25 questions each in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics).

Answering a question relating to syllabus and dates of NEET, Pokhriyal asserted that the schedule for NEET (UG) 2021 is being finalized in consultation with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare and the National Medical Commission (NMC).

“The same would be declared in near future. The syllabus will remain the same as the previous year. In terms of mode of conduct of examination, online and offline, the Health Ministry and NMC are being consulted in this regard,” he said.

Regarding the class 10 and 12 board exams, the minister said the consultations with stakeholders are in progress for deciding the dates of board examinations and it will be announced soon based on the feedback from the stakeholders.

“The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) is yet to take a decision on the dates of conducting board examinations including practical. In case students are not able to do practical in classes before the examinations, alternatives to practical examinations will be explored,” he said.

While clarifying the doubts among the students and teachers about the deleted portion of class 12, the minister said CBSE has already uploaded the revised syllabus on its website.

“Details of deleted portion have been given in a summary form,” he said.

The CBSE had last week announced that board exams in 2021 will be in written mode only and not online.

“No final decision has been taken regarding the dates for conduct of board exams, and consultations with stakeholders are still in process. The exams, as and when they are conducted, will be in written mode and not in an online mode. The exams will be conducted following all COVID protocols. In case students are not able to do practicals in classes before the exams, alternatives to practical exams will have to be explored,” a senior board official had said.

Schools across the country were closed in March to contain the spread of COVID-19 and partially reopened in some states from October 15. However, a few states decided to keep them closed in view of a spike in the infections.

The board exams that were being conducted in March had to be postponed mid-way. The exams were later cancelled, and the results were announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme.

Competitive exams like JEE and NEET were also postponed twice this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There have been demands for postponement of board exams to May in view of the continued closure of schools and teaching-learning activities being completely online. — PTI


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