Six opposition parties have moved the Supreme Court, seeking a review of its nod to conduct the NEET-JEE exams. West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Maharashtra approached the apex court for postponement of the exams.
The SC had earlier dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the two exams amid a spurt in the number of COVID-19 cases in the country, saying a precious academic year of students cannot be wasted and that life has to go on.
The JEE-Mains was originally scheduled to be held from April 7-11, but was postponed to July 18-23. The NEET-UG was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26. Subsequently, the exams were postponed again and are now scheduled in September.
While the NEET is slated to be held on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE-Mains is scheduled between September 1-6. Around 9.53 lakh candidates have registered for JEE-Mains and 15.97 lakh students have registered for NEET
The issue, which has been a matter of intense public discourse for the last few months, has evoked contrasting views with many backing the holding of the tests and arguing that not doing so would result in a “zero academic year” for students, while opposition parties and a section of activists are demanding postponement of the exams in view of the pandemic.
The Congress and various other opposition parties had demanded that the examinations be deferred due to the pandemic and floods in certain parts of the country, even as the government has made it clear that the tests will be held according to the schedule and with due precautions.
The BJP had accused the Congress of doing politics over the issue of JEE-Mains and NEET exams, and said the Modi government won’t let the opposition party spoil students’ future to find relevance.
Increasing the number of examination centres, an alternative seating plan, fewer candidates per room and staggered entry and exit are among the steps the NTA will take for safely conducting the NEET and JEE in September.