Mumbai: For the first time, the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main) conducted for admission to undergraduate engineering programmes will be conducted four times in 2021, instead of once a year, Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank announced on Wednesday.
Also, for the first time, the competitive exam, which was thus far only conducted in English, will be conducted in 13 different Indian languages.
On Wednesday, the minister announced via live video conference, "Keeping in mind the various suggestions and requests received from aspirants of JEE Mains across the nation, it has been decided to conduct JEE Mains four times in a year. The exam will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) in February, March, April and May 2021."
The first JEE Main exam session will be from February 23 to 26, 2021, followed by the second session between March 15 and 18. The third session will be from April 27 to 30 and the final one from May 24 to 28.
The minister explained, "Multiple attempts will reduce chances of dropping out and prevent a student's' entire academic year from being wasted."
Students need not appear for all four sessions but those seeking to improve their score or secure a better rank can appear for more than one session. The minister said, "The best score, irrespective of the number of attempts of JEE Main in 2021, will be considered for the preparation of merit list and ranking. Students can thus make multiple attempts to gain practice of the exam, rectify their mistakes in the next attempt and improve their scores, if desired."
In addition, the JEE Main 2021 will be conducted in 13 different languages -- English, Hindi, Marathi, Urdu, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Gujarati, Punjabi, Odia, Assamese and Bengali. The minister said, "This will encourage and simplify the exam for candidates from different states, districts and remote areas."
The question paper will comprise a total of 90 questions, of which candidates will have to attempt a total of 75, as decided by the NTA. The choice will be given in Section B (numerical), which will not have any negative marking. Candidates can apply for JEE Main 2021 through online mode from December 16 to January 16, 2021. The fees can be paid online upto January 17. Fees can be paid for all four sessions at the same time.
The JEE Main is conducted for admission to UG engineering programmes (BE/BTech) at the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), Centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs), institutions and universities funded or recognised by participating state governments. It also serves as an eligibility test for JEE (Advanced), which is conducted for admission to IITs.