Mamata urges Centre to postpone JEE and NEET exams on account of COVID.

Published : August 24, 2020 21:53 IST

Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. Photo: PTI

West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has expressed reservations about the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Entrance cum Eligibility Test (Undergraduate) taking place in September in the midst of the COVID-19 Pandemic, as it puts the students “lives at risk.” She has urged the Centre to postpone the examinations till the “situation is conducive again.”

In a social media message on August 24, Mamata wrote, “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. Now with the directive of @EduMinOfIndia to conduct NEET, JEE 2020 in Sep, I would again appeal to the Centre to assess the risk and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again. It is our duty to ensure a safe environment for all our students.”

On August 17, the Supreme Court had rejected the petition of a group of students seeking postponement of NEET and JEE examinations of 2020, and on August 21 the National Testing Agency announced that it had released the Admit Cards for the JEE (Main) scheduled from September 1-6. The NEET (Undergraduate) is to be held on September 13.

The Centre’s decision to go ahead with the examinations has brought forth widespread protests from both students and political parties. However, the Supreme Court in its order had said, “In our opinion, though there is pandemic situation, but ultimately life has to go on and the career of the students cannot be put on peril for long and full academic year cannot be wasted.”

Rahul Gandhi too had protested against the Centre’s decision to go ahead with the exam. On August 23, he had said on social media, “GOI must listen to the #StudentsKeMannKiBaat about NEET, JEE exams and arrive at an acceptable solution.”

Deputy Chief Minister of Delhi Manish Sisodia said, “I am requesting the Centre to consider the children and not think of politics nor make this into a prestige issue. We have to find a solution for these children, otherwise in the days to come people will say because of a stubborn government the lives of 28 lakh students were put at risk just so the government could stick to its guns, and not consider that there could be other ways besides exams.”

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