Many students have campaigned to delay the exams, pointing to rising Covid-19 cases

Millions of students are sitting two of India’s most competitive college exams amid protests and worry over rising Covid-19 cases.

The JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) began on Tuesday and will go on until 6 September, while another hugely competitive exam, the NEET (The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), will be held on the 13th of the month.

For weeks, many students have protested against these tests, pointing towards India’s growing Covid-19 caseload – the country has recorded 3.8 million cases so far, hitting the world’s highest daily totals in recent days.

But the National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the exams, has refused to reschedule them.Students even took their concerns to court, but the Supreme Court dismissed their plea, saying that “the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and a full academic year cannot be wasted”.

The BBC spoke to five students from across India who are taking these examinations.