Subramanian Swamy asks Centre to postpone JEE, NEET
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy said on Friday that he has asked Union Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank to postpone the NEET and JEE examinations in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Swamy also said he also planned to write an “urgent” letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue.
“I have just spoken to the Minister of Education suggesting that NEET and other exams be conducted after Deepavali. The SC order the other day is not a bar since the Hon’ble Court has left the date to the government. I am sending an urgent letter to the PM just now,” Swamy said in a tweet.
In another tweet, addressed to those who have been opposing holding the exam in view of the pandemic, Swamy said the Education minister will hold an emergency meeting on the issue.
“I have already tweeted as well as conveyed to Education Minister that NEET exams should be after Deepavali. Minister is holding an emergency meeting. Let us see. I was asked to intervene by you all at a very late stage after SC had delivered its judgment,” Swamy said.
While official word on the issue from the Education ministry was awaited, a person aware of the developments said there was no decision at the moment to postpone the exams.
The Union ministry of Education feels that without exams it would be nearly impossible to get the academic year 2020-21 moving. The ministry and the NTA have put their hopes in detailed social distancing norms that would be followed when the tests are conducted.
The NTA on its part is now focusing on a detailed protocol to ensure that the tests are conducted in the safest possible manner.
“There will be thorough social distancing and safety protocols. The space where the test is conducted will be disinfected. Masks, sanitiser and gloves would be allowed. There will be adequate social distancing. Temperature checks will be there and anyone reporting any symptom will be isolated immediately. All systems will be designed to ensure there is adequate physical distancing,” said a government official, adding that all norms of the health ministry will be followed.
A three-judge bench headed by justice Arun Mishra said that “life has to go on” despite Covid and court cannot put career of students in jeopardy by interfering with the decision of the National Testing Agency (NTA) to hold the examinations in September.
“Life has to move on even in Covid times. Covid may continue but postponement of exam is a loss for the country. Are you (petitioners) ready to waste a whole year?” justice Mishra asked the petitioners’ counsel, Alakh Alok Srivastava. The JEE is scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6 and NEET is slated for September 13.