The Supreme Court will hear a plea seeking postponement of key entrances Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and NEET exams on Monday, August 17. The petition, filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, will come up for hearing next week as 11 students from 11 states across the country moved the apex court seeking relief amid the COVID-19 pandemic as they fear catching the highly-infectious virus. The petitioners have sought conducting of the examinations only after normalcy is restorated post COVID-19 crisis.
Meanwhile, advocate Srivastava informed that the National Testing Agency (NTA), the conducting body of the examinations, has filed a vakalatnama in the case. Two intervention applications have also been filed, he said. As the hearing date approaches, Srivastava expressed confidence of getting justice for young JEE and NEET aspirants. India Wide Parents' Association chief Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, who has been writing letters to the government putting forward students' concerns, hoped for a decision in the larger interest of students.
What the petition seeks
- The petition seeks holding of JEE Main and NEET exams "only after normalcy is restored in the country post COVID-19 crisis."
- It also urges for an increase in the examination centres so as to provide at least one exam centre in every district of India.
- The petition also seeks fresh opportunities to JEE and NEET aspirants to submit their application forms and choose exam centres afresh.
- The petition says that the NTA has decided to conduct JEE through online mode and NEET offline at 161 centres across India, which are "utterly arbitrary, whimsical and violative of fundamental rights to life of lakhs of the affected students."
- The NTA has indefinitely postponed the National Council of Hotel Management Joint Entrance Examination (NCHM-JEE) 2020, scheduled to be conducted on 22.06.2020 in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. However, now when the COVID-19 crisis has much more worsened, the NTA is still conducting JEE Main and NEET exams.