As chorus to postpone various examinations, including NEET and JEE continue to grow amid the COVID-19 pandemic, top political leaders like Rahul Gandhi, Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin and several others have joined students' demands and have urged the Centre to postpone exams till normalcy in the country is restored. On Sunday, over 4,000 students had observed a day-long hunger strike at their respective homes demanding that CBSE compartment exams of Classes 10 and 12 be cancelled and entrance exams such as the UGC-NET, CLAT, NEET and JEE be postponed in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
Using the hashtag, SATYAGRAHagainstExamInCovid, many students also took to Twitter to appeal to the government to pay heed to their demands. The tweetstorm has simply intensified following the announcement that the Centre would not be pressing pause on the upcoming exams. #ProtestAgainstExamsInCOVID, #NEETJEE, #PostponeJEE_NEETinCovid and more were on top trends in India. All in all, more than 3 million tweets were made as per the numbers mentioned on Twitter.
Top leaders join chorus to postponement of JEE Main, NEET and other exams:
Joining the chorus to postpone of exams, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said the government must listen to the ‘mann ki baat’ of students and arrive at “an acceptable solution” and his party demanded that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) be deferred.
आज हमारे लाखों छात्र सरकार से कुछ कह रहे हैं। NEET, JEE परीक्षा के बारे में उनकी बात सुनी जानी चाहिए और सरकार को एक सार्थक हल निकालना चाहिए।— Rahul Gandhi (@RahulGandhi) August 23, 2020
GOI must listen to the #StudentsKeMannKiBaat about NEET, JEE exams and arrive at an acceptable solution.
DMK president MK Stalin also wrote a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal requesting him to postpone the exams.
Our students' safety and wellbeing should be the only priority for the government.— M.K.Stalin (@mkstalin) August 24, 2020
In light of the very real threat of #COVID19, I urge Hon.@DrRPNishank to postpone the JEE, NEET exams immediately. #POSTPONEJEE_NEET pic.twitter.com/jpbkuYc0RL
Also, Rajya Sabha MP Subramanian Swamy questioned why the exams could not be pushed further if other exams could be postponed.
"If our Modi Government goes through imposing the NEET/JEE exam now it will be the giant mistake like Nasbandi in 1976 that caused the undoing of Indira government in 1977. Indian voters may suffer silently but have long memories," Swamy tweeted.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia had also appealed to the central government to cancel medical and engineering entrance exams JEE and NEET in view of the COVID-19 situation.
JEE-NEET की परीक्षा के नाम पर लाखों छात्रों की ज़िंदगी से खेल रही है केंद्र सरकार. मेरी केंद्र से विनती है कि पूरे देश में ये दोनो परीक्षाएँ तुरंत रद्द करें और इस साल एडमिशन की वैकल्पिक व्यवस्था करे.— Manish Sisodia (@msisodia) August 22, 2020
अभूतपूर्व संकट के इस समय में अभूतपूर्व कदम से ही समाधान निकलेगा. @DrRPNishank
In a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said, "The COVID-19 situation in the country is yet to normalise. In such a situation, if students who are taking NEET and JEE, and their parents have raised concerns, then these should be taken into consideration by the government and those conducting these exams."
कोरोना को लेकर देश में परिस्थितियां अभी सामान्य नहीं हुईं हैं। ऐसे में अगर NEET और JEE परीक्षा देने वाले छात्र-छात्राओं व उनके अभिभावकों ने कुछ चिंताएं जाहिर की हैं तो भारत सरकार व टेस्ट कराने वाली संस्थाओं को उस पर सही से सोच विचार करना चाहिए#SATYAGRAH_AgainstExamsInCovid— Priyanka Gandhi Vadra (@priyankagandhi) August 23, 2020
Member of Parliament Chirag Paswan also wrote a letter to the Education Minister highlighting health and safety concerns related to the operation of JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 in September. Sharing the letter on social media, he wrote, “I have sent a letter today to eminent @DrRPNishank ji on the subject of #JEE_NEET exam by email and fax, so that I can make him aware of the problem pointed out by the children and their parents. Hope not only believe that by reviewing everything told by parents, they will protect the interests of children. ”
#JEENEET के विषय पर भेजा गया पत्र आदरणीय @DrRPNishank जी को मिलने के बाद आज देर शाम आदरणीय मंत्री जी से फ़ोन पर बात हुई।मैंने बिहारी बच्चों के साथ साथ सम्पूर्ण देश के बच्चों की समस्याओं को मंत्री जी से अवगत कराया। pic.twitter.com/CP007RIHe3— युवा बिहारी चिराग पासवान (@iChiragPaswan) August 21, 2020
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee too urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone NEET) and JEE examinations that are scheduled to be held in September.
"In our last video conference with the Hon'ble PM Shri @narendramodiJi, I had been vocal against the UGC guidelines mandating completion of terminal examinations in Universities/Colleges by the end of September 2020, which had a huge potential to put student lives at risk," she tweeted.
In our last video conference with the Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji, I had been vocal against the UGC guidelines mandating completion of terminal examinations in Universities/Colleges by the end of September 2020, which had a huge potential to put student lives at risk. (1/2)— Mamata Banerjee (@MamataOfficial) August 24, 2020
Shiv Sena MP from Worli Aaditya Thackeray also wrote a letter to PM Modi for his intervention to citing health risk to students, families in wake of various exams that are being proposed by Universities amid the pandemic.
I have written to the Hon’ble Prime Minister, Shri @narendramodi ji on the health risk that the proposed exams of various streams, and entrance exams, would have for students and families across India and for his personal intervention. pic.twitter.com/nBAk0Ef7od— Aaditya Thackeray (@AUThackeray) August 24, 2020
Leader of Opposition in Bihar Tejashwi Yadav has also demanded the postponement of JEE Main and NEET exams.
Central Govt, NTA, UGC & IIT Delhi must have a considerate & humane view of the plight of the students & youth of this country!— Tejashwi Yadav (@yadavtejashwi) August 21, 2020
This hurry to conduct exams amidst spiking Covid cases will prove to be costly! In Bihar floods+Govt apathy will compound problems!#PostponeJEEAndNEET
The Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking the postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET (Undergraduate) examinations, which are scheduled to be held in September, amid a spurt in COVID-19 cases, saying the precious year of students "cannot be wasted" and "life has to go on".
On Friday, Education Ministry officials had said the JEE (Main) and the NEET-UG will be conducted in September as scheduled. The JEE (Main) is scheduled to be held between September 1 and 6, while the JEE (Advanced) on September 27. The NEET will be held on September 13.
(We will be updating the copy as and when more leaders join the Postpone JEE, NEET 2020 chorus. Stay tuned with our Education News section to keep yourself updated on the latest news on students demands on exam moratorium)