NEET 2020: As students appear for National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) on Sunday, many aspirants from remote hilly regions in Uttarakhand travelled a day in advance to succeed in their exam centres on time.
Sunil Kumar, a 22-year-old student from Kalagarh in Uttar Pradesh who had his exam centre in Haldwani in Nainital district said “I left my house on Saturday morning around 7 AM. I changed two modes of transport at four different places to succeed in Kashipur first around 3 pm on Saturday. Earlier it used to cost Rs 60 from my hometown to succeed in Kashipur, but this time I had to around Rs 1000.”
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He added that after reaching Kashipur, he took a bus to succeed in Haldwani around 6 pm on Saturday evening.
“I spent one full day travelling in different vehicles of roadways. I even got a Covid-19 test done at the border but did not receive a outline yet (till entering the exam corridor),” said Kumar.
Akshita Kharkwal, another 17-year-old aspirant who came from the bordering district of Pithoragarh said, “We had left Pithoragarh at 9:30 am on Saturday morning. We reached Rudrapur (US Nagar) around 8:30 pm, where we stayed at our relative’s house. From there I reached Haldwani around 9:40 am on Sunday to succeed in my exam centre. Despite the fact that we travelled in our own car, but the continual shuttle of 10-11 hours was once exhausting added with the panic of reaching safely without any trouble on the street.”
Many more students travelled overnight to succeed in the exam centres on time as each student had been provided a specific time slot to go into.
Sapna Karki, a 17-year-old medical aspirant from Kharak Karki village in Champawat district also travelled for over 10 hours.
“We started from my village on Saturday afternoon and stayed in Tanakpur at night. On Sunday, we left from there at 5 am and reached Haldwani around 9 am. Examinees from hilly districts to have face many difficulties to succeed in exam centres in Haldwani. It’s not just the a lot of hours of shuttle, but we also have to retain our safety in brain while switching different modes of transport amid an epidemic,” she said.
Students from hilly areas close Mussoorie faced the same plight.
Shrishti Sonkar, a 20-year-old medical aspirant from Mussoorie said, “Fearing the roadblock because of recurring landslide on Mussoorie-Dehradun street we left five hours before the exam, in order that we are in a position to succeed in the centre on time. We were lucky to pass the landslide zone without any stoppages.”
Several aspirants who did not have their own vehicle pooled in together by taking shared taxis to their designated centres.
Sakshi Singh, another medical aspirant from Mussoorie said, “We are three students who made up our minds to book a taxi a day earlier and reached the centre on time on Sunday.”
Exam on Sunday was once conducted following all social distancing and safety guidelines as per the Central government.
Mohan Singh Matiyani, city coordinator for NEET (UG) in Roorkee said that the exam was once conducted smoothly with 90% of the students appearing for the exam in the city.
“All norms of social distancing have been followed with 12 students seated in one room. Students were provided different time slots from 11 am till 1:30 pm so that every one safety norms like thermal scanning, sanitising, distribution of masks could be followed properly. All students were provided fresh masks at the centre,” said Matiyani.
When asked whether the temperature of any of the students was once higher than normal, Matiyani said, “For this kind of situation, we have made arrangements for separate rooms, but we did not receive one of these outline till the exam started at 2 pm on Sunday.”