JEE, NEET to be held on schedule in September: Centre
Amid the protest from certain quarters, the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for admission to IITs and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical courses will go ahead as per schedule.
After a marathon meeting, the Education Ministry said JEE (Main) exam will be held between September 1 and September 6 and the NEET exam will be conducted on September 13 as scheduled. Sources in the Education Ministry said there will be no change as the Supreme Court too has dismissed a petition by students and other stakeholders to defer the exams due to Covid-19 crisis.
“Admit cards for the JEE (Main) exam has already been issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA) and around 6.5 lakh students (of the nearly 8.6 lakh who had registered) have downloaded them,” said Ministry sources.
Government sources also said of total candidates who had registered for the JEE, only 120 had requested a change of cities and examination centre.
Several politicians, including Parliamentarians Subramanian Swamy and Chirag Paswan and former NEET toppers as well as social media influencers and celebrities, had requested the Centre and Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the postponement of the JEE and NEET exams citing reasons, including Covid, floods and non-functional public transport.
Eleven candidates from 11 States had filed a public interest litigation (PIL) in the Supreme Court seeking postponement of NEET as well as the engineering entrance test, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main. The Supreme Court dismissed their plea on August 17.
Candidates were allotted the exam centre/city on August 20, which can be checked by accessing the candidate login portal on the official website of NEET.
Swamy, has written to the PM and also spoken to Pokhriyal about the issue during the day but a meeting till late evening at Education Ministry decided to go ahead with the exams. Swamy suggested holding the exams after Diwali.
LJP leader Chirag Paswan and RJD leader Tejashvi Yadav too had urged the Education Minister seeking postponement due to flood and corona pandemic in Bihar.
Sources in Education Ministry said exams will be conducted in line with the Centre’s guidelines on hygiene protocols during the pandemic and elaborate arrangements have been made to sanitise exam centres before and after each shift. Fresh face masks and gloves (provided on demand) will be handed out to all students.
In order to ease concerns about health and safety during the pandemic, the NTA had allowed JEE (Main) candidates to change the allotted centre five times. However, sources said that 99.07 per cent had been given their preferred choice of centres.
“Requests for changes in centres are being looked at sympathetically,” the sources said.
Similarly, students appearing for the NEET (undergraduate) exam were also given the option to change their centers and around 95,000 candidates had availed this opportunity.
Of the total of nearly 16 lakh candidates for this exam, 99.87 per cent were given their preferred choice of cities in which to appear for the exam.
On Monday the Supreme Court had said, “The careers of students cannot be put under jeopardy. Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards. Are students ready to waste a whole year? Education should be opened up. Covid may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait for another year?”
Saturday, 22 August 2020 | PNS | New Delhi
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