JEE, NEET controversy: All you need to know

Several students and parents around the country have shared their concerns over conducting JEE and NEET as Covid-19 cases are on a rise.
Several students approached the Supreme Court with a request to postpone JEE and NEET, but the court refused to interfere in National Testing Agency’s decision.(Representative Photo)
Several students approached the Supreme Court with a request to postpone JEE and NEET, but the court refused to interfere in National Testing Agency’s decision.(Representative Photo)
Updated on Aug 23, 2020 03:05 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by: Amit Chaturvedi

Students across the country have requested the government to postpone the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), scheduled to be held in September, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

The students even approached the Supreme Court, but it refused to interfere in the exam schedule. The National Testing Agency (NTA), which is conducting these exams, has refused to defer them further saying it will affect next year’s academic calendar.

Politicians are now joining the cause, urging the government to listen to students’ demands.

Here is everything you need to know about the JEE and NEET postponement issue:

What are JEE and NEET?

These are the two national-level entrance exams for professional courses. Around 16 lakh students have registered for NEET-UG this year, while close to 9.3 lakh students had registered for JEE-Mains (Paper I) that was conducted in January. An equal number of students were expected to appear for the second phase of the exam, which are scheduled for April-May each year.

This year however, owing to the Covid-19 outbreak, the National Testing Agency (NTA) kept postponing the exam dates.

When are these exams going to be held?

While the JEE is scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6, the NEET will be held on September 13.

Also Watch | JEE, NEET update: What students feel about exams not getting postponed

 

What are students’ contention?

Several students and parents around the country have shared their concerns over conducting exams as Covid-19 cases are on a rise. However, an equal number of parents of students are also hoping that the exams are held as per the schedule so that the delay in the postponement of exams comes to an end.

“Medical admissions are time bound, and therefore, it makes no sense to further delay NEET, which will eventually delay the admissions process as well. Leaving an entire batch of medical seats vacant will be unfair because next year, the intake capacity of medical institutes will remain the same but the applicants will double in number, which will lead to more chaos,” said activist Sudha Shenoy, who is the parent of an aspirant.

How are the students fighting for their cause?

Students from 11 states across the country filed a petition in the Supreme Court seeking the postponement of these two exams.

The court, however, rejected the plea on Monday. A three-judge bench headed by justice Arun Mishra said “life has to go on” despite the outbreak of the viral disease and the court cannot put the career of students in jeopardy by interfering with the decision of the NTA to hold the examinations in September.

The political reactions

The Congress has jumped on this opportunity to attack on the government. Several party leaders, including former Congress president Rahul Gandhi, asked the government to listen to students’ demands.

“Today lakhs of students are saying something. The GOI must listen to the Students Ke Mann Ki Baat about NEET, JEE exams and arrive at an acceptable solution,” Gandhi said in a tweet.

Congress leader Kapil Sibal called it an “injustice”, and suggested that the only just, fair and sensible solution is to postpone JEE and NEET.

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