Amid fears among students of contracting COVID-19 and due to the ongoing floods in various parts of the country, nearly 1,15,000 students were unable to attend the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE Mains) in the first three days, according to data shared by Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Union Cabinet Minister for Education.
According to the figures shared by the Minister, while 4,58,521 students had registered to sit for the exams, only 3,43,958 appeared at the exam centres, indicating a near 25 per cent drop in attendance.
On the first day of exams, only 54.67 per cent of students attended Paper 2 - the aptitude paper for B.Arch and B.Planning. The National Testing Agency (NTA) said that the low numbers corresponded to students focusing on the B.Tech and NEET UG exams. It added that low numbers on day one have been seen in the past too.
States such as Gujarat and Assam reported only 55 per cent and 50 per cent attendance, respectively, on day one of the exams.
However, on day 2, 81.08 per cent of the registered candidates appeared for the entrance test and 82.14 per cent on Wednesday, day 3, according to NTA data.
Meanwhile, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Thursday, 3 September, said that 75 per cent of the JEE Mains 2020 candidates in the state could not take the exam on Tuesday.
On Wednesday, slamming the central government over the attendance, the National Students Union of India (NSUI) many students missed the exam due to hasty move and lack of planning to provide necessary basic arrangements. It also demanded re-examination for students who missed their chance to attend the entrance exam.
"As the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Mains kickstarted from September 1, 2020, only around 65 per cent students appeared for the examination, and many centres in the country reported meager attendance of less than 45 per cent," the NSUI said in a statement.
"We demand a re-examination for the students who have missed their chances to attend the entrance exam because of the hasty move to conduct JEE and lack of planning from the government in providing the necessary basic arrangement to take students to examination centres amidst this pandemic so that a large majority of students will not be missed out from this academic session," it added.Also Read: JEE-NEET To Be Held As Scheduled: Supreme Court Dismisses States' Plea