NEET and JEE aspirants can visit the portal and register themselves as students and request for a ride from their location to the exam centres
With several JEE and NEET aspirants facing difficulty in reaching their exam centres amid the Covid pandemic and heavy rains leading to flooding in certain parts of the country, students and alumni from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have come up with a solution.
IIT students and alumni from the likes of IIT Delhi Alumni Association (IITDAA), IIT Bombay and IIT Madras have come together to launch a user-friendly transport portal called www.eduride.in, which offers transportation facility for joint entrance examination (JEE) Main and Advance as well as National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) 2020 candidates.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct JEE Main 2020 from September 1 to September 6. while NEET 2020 is scheduled for September 13. JEE Advance will be held later in September.
While JEE Main is conducted by NTA twice a year as an entrance test into engineering colleges including IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Centrally Funded Technical Institutes (CFTIs) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), among others. NEET 2020, on the other hand, is the entrance exam conducted by NTA for students who wish to study undergraduate medical courses and dental courses in government or private medical and dental colleges in India.
The portal www.eduride.in aims to ease burden of commuting for the needy candidates especially from remote locations and poorly connected areas. Led by the likes of IITDAA past president Rohit Koshy, IIT Bombay alumnus Sanskar Jain and other students and alumni including a team of IIT Madras alumni, the portal will either provide for rides by volunteers or support cab rides taken by JEE and NEET candidates.
NEET and JEE aspirants can visit the portal and register themselves as students and request for a ride from their location to the exam centres. On the other hand, the portal also invites alumni and others to register themselves as volunteers to help JEE and NEET candidates by either driving the aspirants from their area to their exam centre or by making a donation to facilitate cab services availed by the exam-takers. The donations are used by organisers behind the portal to fund cab service for NEET and JEE aspirants on the day of the exam.
According to IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao, some candidates had written to him and also commented on the social media channels that they could not afford private transport and had asked for help in reaching the examination centres. "Therefore, we immediately made an appeal to the alumni and others for help. While I appreciate the outcome of this appeal in form of the launch of the portal, I also celebrate it as a glaring example of the innate spirit that we all carry to help the needy in our society," Rao added.
Even states like Odisha have also announced free transport to aspirants.
However, while the apex court may have ruled in favour of conducting these tests, some of the non-BJP ruling states have sought deferment in the court. This, according to test preparation platforms, has led to confusion among students which could affect their performance.
"There are two parts to the entrance tests including academic and the exams. There are not many concerns with regards to academics as students got extra months to prepare though some may have not been able to avail enough practice tests due to centres being shut. However, as far as the exams are concerned, there are logistical issues in terms of students reaching their centres," said Navin C Joshi, vice president (JEE & NEET) at GoPrep, one of the leading online preparation platforms.
Due to the pandemic-led lockdown, online preparation platforms like GoPrep have seen tremendous rise in JEE, NEET and other test candidates registering with them. "Our overall student numbers rose by 200-300 per cent and testing on our platform increased by 500 per cent over the last year. Before Covid-19, many aspirants were not taking online preparation platforms seriously, especially for NEET or JEE," Joshi added.