Opposition Leaders Seek Postponement of JEE, NEET Exams

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Clarion India

NEW DELHI – Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik urged the Centre to postpone the NEET and JEE exams scheduled to be held in the first fortnight of September.

On Tuesday, In a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank,  Chief Minister Patnaik urged the cancellation of the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (NEET) in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and also direct the National Testing Agency (NTA) to open exam centres in all 30 districts of the state.

“In view of the prevailing pandemic conditions in the country, it will be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to physically visit the test centres to appear in these tests,” Patnaik said.

“Besides, as frequent lockdowns/shutdowns are enforced by district administrations concerned due to sudden spike in corona case in certain areas, transportation too gets disrupted,” he added.

More than 50,000 students from Odisha are appearing in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year. However, the NTA has opened examination centres in only seven townships of the state.

The Chief Minister also said that Odisha has got vast tribal pockets which are in virtually inaccessible areas, far away from the urban centres in the state.

Students of such areas may be deprived of the opportunity to sit for these exams, as they will have to travel long distances to the exam centres, he added.

The NTA is scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) and NEET 2020 for admissions to technical and medical courses from September 1-6 and on September 13 respectively.

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Monday urged the Centre for the second time to postpone NEET, JEE 2020. She said that the exams should not be held until the situation is conducive again.

The West Bengal CM said if the exams are conducted as scheduled, it would put students’ lives at risk from the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In our last video conference with Prime Minister Narendra Modiji, I had been vocal against the UGC guidelines mandating completion of terminal examinations in universities and colleges by the end of September 2020, which had a huge potential to put student lives at risk,” Banerjee tweeted.

It is to be noted that NEET is scheduled on September 13 and JEE-Mains will be held from September 1-6.

“Now with the directive of the Education Ministry to conduct NEET, JEE 2020 in September, I would again appeal to the Centre to assess the risk and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again,a she said.

Earlier, former Congress president Rahul Gandhi had also urged the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led central government to consider the ‘Mann Ki Baat’ of students and address the postponement issue of the entrance examinations. Meanwhile, India on Monday recorded 61,408 fresh cases of Covid-19 and 836 deaths in the last 24-hours.

“It is our duty to ensure a safe environment for all our students,” Banerjee said.

(With inputs from IANS)

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