The Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Tuesday refused to stay the JEE-Main exam but said any student residing in flood-hit parts of Maharashtra’s Vidarbha region who cannot reach the exam center or reaches late can apply to the National Testing Agency to seek a re-examination.

A division bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Pushpa Ganediwala said the National Testing Agency (NTA) shall consider such applications and decide accordingly, after checking the veracity of the same.

The engineering Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main began at 9 am across the country on Tuesday. “The situation is grim in several districts due to flood. Students should not suffer for no fault on their part, the bench said.

HC took suo motu cognizance of a letter by a student from Bhandara Nitesh Bawankar, who highlighted problems being faced by students from Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Gondia, and Gadchiroli districts that are severely hit by incessant rains and floods since last few days. Many urban and rural areas in these districts were inundated due to the release of waters from dams, including Gosikhurd in the last couple of days, while rescue and relief operations continued by the government. HC also added collectors of all five districts as respondents along with Nagpur Municipal Corporation (NMC) commissioner and asked them to file replies by Tuesday. “It is informed to us that under the Disaster Management Act, the collector in an area, which is not a municipal corporation, can make a decision for holding or postponing of examination at a particular center. If the area is covered by the municipal corporation, then authority under the Act is civic chief,” the bench noted.

Meanwhile, India reported 78,512 new novel coronavirus infections on Monday, slightly fewer than its record set the previous day when it posted the biggest, single-day tally of infections of any country in the pandemic. With 971 new deaths, the cumulative toll reached 64,469. The coronavirus cases in the country mounted to 36,21,246 including 7,81,975 active cases, 27,74,802 cured/discharged/migrated. With 1,93,889 active cases, the coronavirus situation in Maharashtra continues to remain the most affected state followed. Andhra Pradesh has 99,129 active cases while Karnataka reported 88,110 active cases. 8,46,278 samples were tested on August 30 and over 4.23 crores samples have been tested so far, as per the information provided by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR). The Union Health Ministry informed us that the last 5 lakh recoveries have been recorded in only 8 days.