The Kerala Engineering Architectural Medical (KEAM) entrance exam to various professional courses in the state will be held on July 16 as earlier scheduled. Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan confirmed this during the press conference on Monday evening.
All the precautions against COVID-19 would be ensured, he said. A meeting was earlier held on Monday in this regard.
"The entrance examinations would be held as scheduled. Special test centres are being opened in hot spots/containment zones so that students in those areas can take the entrance exam without going out," CM Pinarayi said.
He also said that special arrangements will be made for those students in quarantine or those coming from red zones.
Over one lakh candidates will appear for the entrance examination, to be conducted in 342 centres located in Kerala, Delhi, Mumbai, and Dubai on July 16.
The state government has earlier informed that special bus services would be arranged for the students.
The Commissioner of Entrance Examinations has earlier said that the exam centres will follow the COVID-19 protocol laid down by the Health Department.
Reportedly, teachers and students had been demanding the postponement of the exam, especially after the Centre pushed the dates of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) — both for professional courses — to September.
The Hindu reports that the Kerala government decided to go on with the earlier schedule considering the preparation that went into conducting KEAM. When one of the venues, Kerala Education Society in New Delhi, was found to be unavailable, the state found another — JC Bose University of Science and Technology in Haryana.
Students who stay within the containment zone will have centres in the area so they don't need to travel outside. CM Pinarayi said that in Poonthura, a critical containment zone in Thiruvananthapuram, there are about a hundred students waiting to write the exam, and they will have a centre within the area.
If they turn up at the original venue as earlier allotted, they would be given separate rooms, as would those in quarantine or showing symptoms of COVID-19.
Watch: Public exams with COVID-19 precautions for students in Kerala in May
(With PTI inputs)