Srinagar: Around 25,000 students on Sunday appeared in National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) across Kashmir amid strict health safety protocols.
Every year National Testing Agency (NTA) conducts NEET in May. This year, however, due to the continuous COVID-19 lockdown, it was rescheduled for September 13.
In Kashmir, the examination was conducted in 70 centers in Srinagar, Budgam, and Ganderbal districts.
A NEET official said that around 25,000 students appeared for the examination in Kashmir.
In Srinagar alone, a total of 20,137 students had enrolled for the NEET examination, out of which 18,689 reported at examination centres while 1448 were absent, making an overall attendance of 92.80%
“Face masks, hand sanitizers, and pens were given to every candidate. Besides, water bottles were available in every examination hall. The seating arrangements were also done as per the COVID-19 guidelines,” said Irfan Ahmad, a NEET candidate at Jawahar Nagar Higher Secondary School.
An official said examination was conducted in 27 classrooms with 12 students placed in every hall at two meters distance from each other.
“We had also arranged isolation rooms for students who might have COVID-19 like symptoms. We had also deputed separate staff with PPE kits. But no such student was reported at our center. A team of paramedics also visited this center to take stock of the arrangements,” he added.
Few miles away, at Government Higher Secondary School Raj Bagh, 180 students were accommodated in 15 halls.
“There was a 2-meter gap between students. School gave us masks, gloves, and pens. Sanitizers and water bottles were available in every hall. Students did not face any problem,” said Tabiya Mir, one of the candidates at the center.
Elaborate arrangements for observance of Standard Operating Procedures in wake of Covid-19 were put in place by the district administration and managements of respective institutions. Security arrangements were also in place for smooth conduct of examination at all centres.
District Magistrate, Srinagar, Shahid Iqbal Choudhary along with Addl Deputy Commissioner Syed Hanief Balkhi and senior officers from Civil Administration and Police visited several centres to oversee smooth conduct of examination and arrangements put in place at examination centres. SSP Srinagar Dr Haseeb Mughal and SSP Traffic Javid Koul also visited various locations for security arrangements and traffic / parking managements near the centres.
“The examination was held strictly as per the COVID-19 protocol. Separate arrangements were made for COVID positive students. NTA had asked those candidates to mail them their COVID positive reports so that separate centers could be arranged for them,” an official said.