Here are the guidelines for attending NEET exams safely this year

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Over 15 lakh candidates are expected to appear in medical entrance exam NEET on Sunday which will be conducted amid strict precautions in view of the COVID1-9 pandemic, according to officials of the National Testing Agency (NTA).

In order to maintain social distancing, the NTA has increased the number of exam centres from originally-planned 2,546 to 3,843, while the number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12.

The crucial National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET), which is a pen and paper based test unlike engineering entrance exam JEE, has already been deferred twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The exam was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26, and then to September 13.

A total of 15.97 lakh candidates have registered for the exam.

Here are some of the guidelines published by the NTA

• The students would be given specific time slots for reporting at the centres to avoid crowding. The list of items that are allowed inside the exam hall too would be mentioned on the admit card.

• The scribes for visually challenged candidates too should wear masks. 

• The teachers and invigilators are instructed to maintain a safe distance.

• The superintendent of the exam centre must train the invigilators and other staff based on the instructions of the city coordinator. Those who do not attend this training session shouldn’t be appointed for the exam duty. The invigilators and staff can register at the NTA website for attending the training.

Safety of candidates and staff

• All the materials that are required for the exam should be sanitized.

• Everything including the gates, stairways, elevators, floors, walls, furniture and dustbins should be sanitized. 

• The candidates should avoid crowding in front of the halls. The volunteers should ensure that people do not stand in huge groups. Boards too must be displayed instructing the same.

• There shouldn’t be more than 20 candidates in a queue at a time. Necessary instructions should be announced through the loudspeakers. 

• The body temperature and documents of up to 10 -15 male/female students could be checked at a time in separate rooms.

• Teachers shouldn’t touch the body of the students or on their documents. The candidates could open the documents and show them to the teachers.

• The metal detectors shouldn’t touch the students’ bodies.

• Batches of 5 students should be led to the exam halls. There should be a safe distance between the seats.

• Mobile jammers and CCTV should be enabled during the exam to check the presence of Wifi and Bluetooth signals.

• Gloves should be worn while getting the signatures of the students on the attendance sheet. There is no need for thumb impressions.

• Drinking water will not be supplied at the halls.

• Teachers should bring food from home. They should eat it by maintaining a safe distance.

• After the exam, the students should be allowed to leave the hall one by one and not in groups.

Allowed items to the exam

• Masks, gloves, transparent water bottles, 50 ml sanitizer bottle, admit card and ID card.

• JEE candidates can carry their admit cards, the self-declaration form that has been downloaded from the NTA website, transparent ballpoint pen, a photograph to be pasted on the attendance sheet and a transparent water bottle as well.

• B.Arch candidates can carry geometry boxes, pencils, eraser and colour pencils or crayons. 

Tips to make exam hall safe and clean

• The invigilators and other staff should wear a new pair of masks and gloves.

• Enough gloves and masks should be stocked in case a few candidates report at the hall without them.

• Hand sanitizers should be kept at the entrances and inside the exam halls.

• Spray bottles, sponges and clothes could be used to sanitize the tables and the door handles.

• Use sodium hypochlorite solution to sanitize the exam hall.

• Sprayer machines could be used to sanitize the floors and walls.

• Store enough soaps/hand wash bottles in the restrooms.

• The body temperatures of the teachers and students should be checked using thermo guns. Those who show temperature above 37.4 degree Celsius/99.4 Fahrenheit should be admitted to the isolation rooms. If their temperature lowers within 15 – 20 minutes, they could be admitted to the special exam hall.

• The invigilators should carry their own water bottles. Store enough water bottles in case students forget to bring their own.

• Ropes and paint should be used to mark the points in queues.

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