Students who could not take the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic will get a chance to reappear for the exam directly next year. The announcement was made by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) on Tuesday, reports NDTV. While JEE Main is conducted for admission to engineering colleges across India, JEE Advanced is conducted for admission to 23 Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) colleges in the country.

To appear for JEE Advanced it is mandatory to clear the JEE Main exams. As of now a student is allowed only two attempts for IIT entrance exams, but those in their final year or second attempt who could not take the exam this year will be given a relaxation, the report adds.

The demand for extending the number of attempts has been raised by the candidates and academicians many times. “It has been decided to allow all the candidates, who had successfully registered to appear for JEE Advanced 2020 but were absent in the exam, to appear for JEE-Advanced next year, as a one-time measure,” said IIT Delhi Director V Ramgopal Rao.

“To ensure equal opportunities to all, it has also been decided that these candidates will not have to qualify JEE Main again and will be allowed to directly appear on the basis of their successful registration to appear in JEE Advanced this year,” Rao added.

IIT Delhi was responsible for conducting JEE Advanced in 2020. “This relaxation of the existing eligibility criteria will be in addition to proportionate relaxation of age bar. These candidates would be considered in addition to and not as part of the total number of candidates who would qualify from JEE Main in 2021 for appearing in JEE Advanced,” Rao concluded.

From the 2.5 lakh candidates who were eligible to appear for JEE Advanced, only 1.5 lakh had taken the exam. Over 43,000 students, including 6,707 girls, have cleared the exam. JEE Main for admission to engineering colleges was conducted from September 1 to 6 and JEE Advanced on September 27. This happened with strict precautions in view of the ongoing pandemic.

Staggered entry and exit of the students, use of sanitisers at the gates, distribution of masks and social distancing as candidates queued up were followed at the exam centres across the country, the report concluded.