New Delhi, Dec 16 (PTI) The JEE-Mains for admission to engineering colleges will be held four times a year starting 2021 to offer flexibility to students and a chance to improve their scores, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on Wednesday.
The first edition of the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains (JEE-Mains) will be held from February 23 to 26, followed by rounds in March, April and May.
'We have examined the suggestions received from students and various quarters, and it has been decided that JEE-Mains will be held in four sessions in February, March, April and May,' Nishank said.
The first session will be held from February 23 to 26 and the results will be declared within five days from the last date of exams, he said.
'The move will ensure that students do not miss out on opportunities due to clash of exams or due to the COVID-19 situation at present,' the minister said.
Nishank also said that students will be given a choice to answer 75 questions -- 25 each in physics, chemistry and mathematics -- out of 90 in the JEE-Mains paper. In the exam paper of 90 questions, 30 questions each will be from physics, chemistry and mathematics, he said.
The minister informed that a candidate need not appear in all the four sessions.
'However, if a candidate appears in more than one session then his or her best of scores in 2021 will be considered for preparation of merit list or ranking. The question paper will contain 90 questions, in which the candidate will have to attempt a total of 75 questions. In the new paper pattern, there will be no negative marking in the 15 alternative questions,' Nishank said.
'The candidates have to attempt 75 questions out of 90, or 25 questions out of 30 in each section of chemistry, physics and maths,' he said.
Enumerating the benefits to students due to this decision, the minister said that conducting JEE-Mains in four sessions will give multiple opportunities to candidates to improve their scores in the examination if they are not able to give their best in one attempt.
'In case a candidate has board examination in a particular month, or is unable to appear due to COVID-19, the candidate can choose a different month to take the JEE,' he said.
The minister also said that drawing from the National Education Policy (NEP), for the first time ever JEE Mains-2021 will be conducted in 13 languages- Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, Urdu , Hindi, English and Gujarati.
Schools across the country were closed in March to contain the spread of COVID-19 and partially reopened in some states from October 15. However, a few states decided to keep them closed in view of a spike in coronavirus cases.
The board exams that were being conducted in March had to be postponed mid-way. The exams were later cancelled, and the results were announced on the basis of an alternative assessment scheme. There has been no final decision on the dates Competitive exams like the JEE and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) were also postponed twice this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
There have been demands for postponement of board exams to May in view of the continued closure of schools and teaching-learning activities being completely online. PTI GJS ANB ANB