Six months on, India is battling the coronavirus pandemic. What has it not eaten into? From jobs, businesses, economy, tourism to education, nothing has remained untouched. Even though India has been taking the fight against the virus head-on, we are still not over it. Everyone is fearing for their lives. And why not? After all, Jaan hai to jahan hai.
Schools, colleges, and educational institutions across the country have not opened yet. However, the thought of venturing out to take exams is causing worry and anxiety to the students, further prompting them to approach the judiciary.
Recently, aspirants of JEE and NEET entrance examinations approached the Supreme Court seeking postponement of the examinations but they didn't get any relief. The apex court dismissed the pleas saying that the postponement will put students' careers in peril. Only a few days are left for the exams and students are making a last-ditch effort to reach out to the government through social media.
JEE Main, an entrance exam for admission into engineering institutes, is to be held online from September 1 to 6 while NEET 2020, for admission to undergraduate medical courses, is slated to be held offline on September 13 across 161 exam centres in India. From COVID-19 risk to floods and transportation, here is what students are concerned about.
India has witnessed 6,92,028 active cases in the country so far. The total number of cases have crossed the 29 lakh-mark while 54,849 have died. Students are quoting the statistics to show why the exams shouldn't be held. They fear catching the infection amid a gathering of students. Parents too will accompany the students, spelling more trouble for social distancing norms.
"I belong to a rural area. My house is 200 kilometers away from the exam centre. Even if I manage to reach the exam hall, who will be responsible if I get COVID positive," an aspirant asked.
JEE/NEET aspirant: "I belong to a rural area. My house is 200 kilometers away from the exam centre. Even if I manage to reach the exam hall, who will be responsible if I get COVID positive?" pic.twitter.com/QuMmTyCjq4— Nidhi Taneja (India TV) (@nidhiindiatv) August 19, 2020
Taking to social media, another student raised concerns. "Parents in large numbers will assemble outside exam centres who may have health issues including diabetes, asthma etc. How will you ensure social distancing," he asked.
And, how will you know if a student is COVID positive, he further questioned.
JEE/NEET aspirant highlights challenges:— Nidhi Taneja (India TV) (@nidhiindiatv) August 19, 2020
- Parents in large numbers will assemble outside exam centres who may have health issues including diabetes, asthma etc. How will you ensure social distancing?
- How will you know if a student is COVID positive?pic.twitter.com/pvahKrFjaJ
Many states including Bihar and Assam are facing grim flood situations. As many areas are inundated, students raise concerns over taking the exams. In Assam, floods have affected thousands of people and damaged various roads and infrastructure. In Bihar, over 80 lakh people are affected. At least 27 people have died. Apart from these two states, normal life is also hit in Delhi, Jammu and Kashmir, Odisha and Uttar Pradesh. For students, it is a double-whammy -- battling coronavirus and flood situation. "First devastation of flood. Later, grandfather's heart blood clotted on August 3. Later, he tested positive and is serious now. Whole family is quarantined. My centre is 150 kilometers away. No transport working," Priyanshu, an aspirant, said.
Another student showed flood condition in his area and urged the government to postpone the exams.
NEET aspirant from Bihar shows heavy flooding in his area: This is the condition I am in, there is no transportation as well. Please cancel #PostponeNEET_JEE#RIPSUBHASRI_SAVE30LAKH— Nidhi Taneja (India TV) (@nidhiindiatv) August 20, 2020
Modes of transportation are still not available to students. They say the exam centres are 4-5 hours away from their areas. "My house has been flooded twice. Also, there is not even one centre in my district. I will have to travel 5 kilometers to reach the centre. Neither have any public transport nor any personal vehicle," a student from Assam said.
NEET aspirant from Assam highlights situation in the flood-ravaged state. She says: "My house has been flooded twice. Also, there is not even one centre in my district. I will have to travel 5 kms to reach centre, don't even have a car."— Nidhi Taneja (India TV) (@nidhiindiatv) August 20, 2020