Concerns regarding holding of examinations in the country amid coronavirus crisis can't be stressed enough. The chorus to postpone key exams has been growing enormously. Students are bombarding social media with messages to postpone certain exams. Most hullabaloo surrounds JEE Main and NEET Exams 2020, the two major entrances scheduled to be held in July. Citing concerns raised by the students, the India Wide Parents Association today wrote to the government and requested for the postponement of both JEE Main and NEET exams. JEE Main, which provides admission to NITs, IITs, and CFTIs, is to be held from July 18 to July 23 while the NEET-UG examination, for admission to MBBS/BDS courses, is slated for July 26. More than 15 lakh students had applied for NEET 2020 while nearly 9 lakh for JEE Main exams.
In separate letters addressed to HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and Health Minister Dr. Harsh Vardhan, the India Wide Parents Association said it has been receiving complaints from many parents and students across India regarding conducting JEE Main and NEET Exam in the month of July amid pandemic situation when the infections are at an all-time high. It said that the "shortage of medical facility" has also made the parents even more frightened.
"An important practical problem that the students have is traveling to the examination center during such situations for writing the exams. The situation is very alarming and getting worse day by day and any such decision will put the lives of lakhs of students and the people around them under grave risk," the letter undersigned by Anubha Shrivastava Sahai, president of the parents' association, read.
"The guidelines issued by MHA on 30th May for conducting exams in a non-containment zone is not possible practically especially now when more than 15,000 cases are being reported every day on an average," the letter stated. It mentioned that students in containment zones will not be able to appear for the exam and will have to travel all the way to a non-containment zone which will be very difficult for them to manage logistically.
"Residences of many students are in containment zones/COVID-19 hotspots and their writing of the examination will not only be a difficulty for them but will also pose a lethal threat to the other students appearing along with them," the letter read. One of the most important concerns, the letter said, was students testing for positive for COVID-19 who are now isolated in quarantine centers across the country. "Many students or any of their family members could test positive just before the exam. They would not be able to attempt the exam for no mistake of theirs. Even if they want to write the exam, they wouldn't be able to, thus stealing their opportunity."
The president of the parents' association also recalled Supreme Court's directions to the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to cancel board exams due to the current situation in the country and allowed holding of Class 12 Board exams "only" when the situation is conducive.
NEET and JEE Main examinations can be postponed for a few months till the situation is under control, the letter said, citing a few examples including UPSC, CTET, NCHM JEE wherein exams were postponed.
Raising concerns on lockdown in parts of the country, the letter said: "In such a situation, for students to reach their centers and attempt the exams, they have to bear major psychological and financial crunches."
Postponement of JEE Main, NEET exams: Here are the reasons listed by India Wide Parents' Association
- Increasing COVID-19 infections in India
- Students acting as carriers of the virus
- Practical impossibility of social distancing in exam centers
- Lockdown in many regions of the country
- Rapidly increasing containment zones
- Students coming from containment zones
- Inaction of NTA
- Lack of online education opportunities
- Students and their family members testing positive for COVID-19
- Exam centers in COVID-19 hotspots
- Inefficiency of conducting UGEE
- Using washrooms in exam centers
- Postponement of other exams
- Concerns raised by Delhi, Maharashtra and other states