Despite widespread social media protests on postponing the entrance tests due to the pandemic, over 2.5 million students appeared for the entrance exams last year. JEE Main, JEE Advanced, NEET, CAT are held for securing admissions in engineering, medical, management colleges, respectively. Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today cited the number of students who appeared in the competitive exams in last two years in Rajya Sabha.
In JEE Main 2020, a total of 6 lakh (6,49,612) students sat in the September session, while over 8 lakh (8,84,138) students attempted the January session. In 2019, over 10 lakh (10,25,128) students appeared in April session, and 10,19,855 students attempted the January session.
Similarly, a total of 1.5 lakh students (1,50,838) students appeared in the IIT entrance exam — JEE Advanced in 2020, while 1,61,319 students attempted the 2019 session of the engineering entrance.
However, out of the over 2.5 lakh candidates who were eligible to apply for the JEE Advanced, only 1,60,864 students have registrations, according to the official data released by the IIT-Delhi. This is the lowest in the past three years. In 2019, about 1.73 lakh, and in 2018, nearly 1.65 lakh students had applied for the exam.
The number was expected to dip as the exams were held amid pandemic. Even for the JEE Main September 2020, over one lakh candidates did not turn up for the exam.
In the management entrance test, CAT, a total of 1.9 lakh (1,90,144) students attempted the 2020 session, while 2.09 lakh (2,09,926) candidates appeared in 2019. The medical entrance exam — NEET has over 13 lakh (13,66,945) students in 2020, while 14 lakh (14,10,755) students appeared in 2019, as informed by the Education Minister in a written reply to Rajya Sabha.
The exams were held following the COVID-19 guidelines. “Necessary measures such as maintaining of social distancing, use of hand sanitisers and face masks, online mock tests, allotment of the first choice of exam centre to majority of candidates, temperature measurement at exam centres, staggered entry of candidates, sanitising of exam centres etc were taken while conducting the competitive exams during the pandemic,” Nishank stated.