Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to postpone NEET 2020 and JEE Main 2020 due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic. "In view of the prevailing COVID-19 situation in the country, it would be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to appear in these tests," news agency ANI quoted CM Patnaik as saying.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) is scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) on September 1-6 and NEET on September 13.
He also informed the Union Education Minister that transportation in Odisha has been disrupted because of the lockdown enforced by many district administrations in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.
"Odisha has got vast tribal pockets having geographically inaccessible areas...the students of these areas may be deprived of appearing in these tests, as they will have to travel long distances to come to the examination centres," Patnaik stated in the letter.
Reiterating the request for postponing the exams, Patnaik added, "Whenever NTA holds these tests, it may be directed to open centres in all the 30 districts of the State so that students have to travel maximum 2-3 hours to reach the test centres and go back home the same day and thus ensure maximum participation of the students in these tests."
Around 40,000 candidates from the state have registered for JEE Main 2020. The National Testing Agency, or NTA, has opened exam centres in seven townships of Odisha to conduct the two entrance exams.
The Chief Minister further added that NTA should be directed to open JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 test centres in all the 30 districts so that students have to travel for maximum 2-3 hours to for exams and can go back to their homes the same day.
Students across the country have been demanding a further postponement of JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 exams.
(With ANI inputs)