NEET, JEE 2020: The National Testing Agency (NTA) has successfully conducted the JEE Main exam amid the COVID pandemic, despite facing vehement protest from students who wanted these exams to get cancelled or postponed. The agency is now gearing up for conducting medical entrance exam National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), scheduled to be held on September 13. Also Read - IPL 2020 Points Table Latest Update After RCB vs MI, Match 10: Kohli's Royal Challengers Bangalore Move to 3rd Spot After Beating Mumbai Indians in Super Over Thriller

The Supreme Court had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the two exams amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases, saying a “precious year” of students cannot be wasted and life has to go on. The NEET-UG was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26 and then scheduled for September 13. Also Read - DC vs SRH 11Wickets Fantasy Cricket Tips Dream11 IPL 2020: Pitch Report, Fantasy Playing Tips, Probable XIs For Today's Delhi Capitals vs Sunrisers Hyderabad T20 Match 11 at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi 7.30 PM IST Tuesday September 29

Notably, these exams are being conducted after being postponed twice in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Also Read - JAM vs BOK Dream11 Team Prediction Jharkhand T20 League 2020: Captain, Fantasy Playing Tips, Probable XIs For Today's Jamshedpur Jugglers vs Bokaro Blasters T20 Match at JSCA International Stadium Complex, Ranchi 1.30 PM IST Tuesday September 29

What are the steps being taken by the NTA to keep students safe from contracting the virus?

Over 15 lakh candidates across the country have registered for the medical entrance exam. The NTA, for the safety of the students, has increased the number of centres from 2,546 to 3,843 for the NEET while the number of candidates per room has been reduced from earlier 24 to 12.

Candidates have also been issued an advisory guiding them about the ”dos and don”ts” for proper social distancing.

The NTA has also written to states governments to extend support in local movement of the candidates so that they are able to reach their examination centres on time.

“For ensuring social distancing outside the examination hall, the entry and exit of candidates has been staggered. Adequate arrangements have also been made outside the examination centres to enable candidates stand with adequate social distancing while waiting,” a senior NTA official said.

Making hand sanitisers available at the entrance of the examination centre and inside the exam hall at all times, replacing the process of checking the admit cards of candidates with barcode readers, increasing the number of examination centres, alternate seating plans, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the NTA has taken.

“While all the candidates will be asked to go to the exam centres with masks and sanitisers, once they enter the centre, they will have to use the masks provided by the examination authority.

“Each candidate will be offered a three-ply mask at the time of entry and are expected to wear the same during the examination in order to avoid any form of unfair means at the time of examination,” the official added.

Transport facility by state governments

While the governments of Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh have assured students that they will provide them transportation, a group of Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) alumni and students have also launched a portal to provide transport facilities to exam centres for the candidates in need.

The Metro Railway in Kolkata is planning to run special services for NEET candidates on September 13 to help them reach their examination centres.

“As per the plan, candidates along with guardians will be allowed to board the trains on showing their admit cards,” according to Metro Railway general manager Manoj Joshi.