COVID-19: Students demand postponement of JEE-Main, NEET amid pandemic
Amid the deadly coronavirus outbreak, the central government's go-ahead to hold the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) (UG) exam has not gone down well with students and their parents all across the country. Over the weekend, students took to social media, urging the government to postpone the crucial entrance examinations. Here are more details on this.
JEE-Main and NEET-UG scheduled for September
The NEET-UG 2020, the entrance exam for government-run medical colleges and universities, is scheduled for September 13. JEE-Main, on the other hand, will be held between September 1 and 6. The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts these exams, has said that more than 6.4 lakh candidates have downloaded their admit cards for JEE-Main, which is the nationwide engineering entrance examination.
#SATYAGRAH_AgainstExamsInCovid trends on Twitter
On Sunday, anguished students and parents, concerned over the health risk that such large-scale exams would pose amid the raging pandemic, took to Twitter to express their disappointment. They also started a campaign #SATYAGRAH_AgainstExamsInCovid - "Satyagrah (resistance) against exams In COVID" on Twitter. Trends like "Students Ke Mann Ki Baat" and "Student Lives Matter" also garnered a spot on trends list on social media.
'This is for the benefit of students,' a user tweeted
Students have opined that the matter is about the safety of students and it should not be given political undertones. One student tweeted, "This is not a political matter. This is for the benefit of the students. Some people want to make this a political matter. This is wrong. The students are with the government. But the government should support."
Government has no right to put students at risk: AISA
Meanwhile, the All India Students' Association (AISA) tweeted, "Lakhs of students and their parents are on Satyagraha (sic)." "The government has no right to put students at risk for the exam when it is seen as a complete failure to prevent the corona being spread indiscriminately in the country," the student body posted on Sunday.
GOI must listen to the students: Rahul Gandhi
Congress leader and Member of Parliament, Rahul Gandhi, also joined students in their protest. "Today lakhs of students are saying something. The GOI must listen to the 'Students Ke Mann Ki Baat' about NEET, JEE exams and arrive at an acceptable solution," Gandhi tweeted. Also, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) leader and Delhi's Education Minister, Manish Sisodia, has requested the government to cancel these exams.
You can view Gandhi's tweet here
Supreme Court earlier dismissed plea seeking postponement
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court had on Monday dismissed a petition seeking postponement of the JEE-Main and NEET-UG exams. The top court noted that delaying the decisive examinations would put "careers of students in peril," assuring the petitioner that all coronavirus-related precautions shall be taken care of. "Are students ready to waste one whole year? Education should be opened up," the SC bench said.
COVID-19 outbreak in India
The government's decision to go ahead with NEET-UG and JEE-Main exams has come despite the fact that COVID-19 cases continue to rise in several states across the country. The number of novel coronavirus infections across India has crossed the 3 million (30 lakh) mark, while 56,855 have died due to the fatal virus. India is the third worst-hit country in the COVID-19 outbreak.