Students have been opposing holding of the JEE Main and NEET examinations in September amid the coronavirus pandemic. Recently, a letter written by the India Wide Parents' Association, requesting postponement of the examinations in September, was sent to the government. Now, the association is planning to move the Supreme Court if they don't receive any "positive" response from the government.
"We are moving Supreme Court with demand to postpone JEET, NEET exams if we do not get any response from the ministry," IWPA chief Anubha Srivastava Sahai told India TV Digital.
The engineering entrance is scheduled to take place from September 1 to September 6 while the medical entrance is slated for Septeber 13. Earlier, the exams were scheduled to be held in July but were deferred after the Education Ministry took into account concerns raised by the students.
Request to postpone JEE, NEET exams sent to govt
With a possible peak of COVID-19 cases in sight, there is also a fear among the students of catching the highly-infectious virus. Putting forward concerns raised by parents and students across the country, the India Wide Parents' Association wrote a letter to the government, urging them to postpone JEE Main and NEET exams yet again.
In a letter addressed to the Health Ministry and Education Ministry, the association chief cited several reasons for the further deferment of the examinations including "exponential" growth of new COVID-19 infections in India. "At the time of announcement of postponement of the exams, new cases were around 22-23K daily, however, since then the situation has worsened and cases have breached the 55K mark," the letter read.
Postponement of JEE Main, NEET exams: The reasons
1. With almost 10 lakh appearing for JEE and almost 16 lakh for NEET, a combined total of about 25 lakh+ candidates are to appear for these exams. Parents will also accompany their ward to the exam centre. Even if we consider, one parent per aspirant, that adds on to about 25 lakh more people, all going out at the same time. The crowd will be huge and naturally social distance norms will take a backseat, especially with the amount of stress and anxiety the parents and the aspirants will be going through.
2. There are even more convincing evidences of the virus being airborne now and conducting an exam of such a magnitude will only result in a disaster.
3. Transportation facilities throughout the country are on hold. The Railways remain closed and public transports are either very less or not at all accessible. Additionally, public transport pose an even more risk of contracting the coronavirus.
4. The number of exam centres are quite less than required. Social distancing norms will have to be followed inside the centers. This makes things tricky as one would need a lot more centers for an exam of such magnitude to be successfully conducted. Bihar has only 7 centers for JEE Main. With such a huge number of students, is it really possible to maintain socialdistancing in just 7 centers? For NEET, its even worse, there are centers in only 2 districts.
5. There are several complications in the exam centres too, like the use of same thumbprint scanner, same seats for face verification, crowded computer rooms, less distance between fixed-unmovable seats, limited number of computers etc.