In a letter to the Union Education Minister, Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Chief Minister of Odisha Naveen Patnaik appealed the postponement of the NEET and JEE examinations. The letter, which was received by ‘Nishank’ on Tuesday, mentioned the various facets which would affect the students in the prevailing pandemic scenario. Patnaik’s main concern was the safety and well being of the students.
Why this Appeal?
According to the letter, there are approximately 50,000 candidates for NEET and JEE from Odisha alone. Despite this, the NTA has not provided candidates with the facility of no more than seven examination centres in the township alone. Patnaik fears that students who hail from the tier 2 and tier three village areas will not find it conducive to travel to examination centres. This move would jeopardize their health and well being.
Patnaik further added that frequent lockdowns are being imposed in the state owing to the increasing cases of COVID-19. In such a scenario, there would be no feasible way for the candidates to reach the examination centre.
West Bengal Cheif Minister also Raised Similar Concerns.
The West Bengal Cheif Minister, Mamata Banerjee, appealed to the Centre seeking the postponement of NEET and JEE to a suitable time. Banerjee listed similar concerns. Moreover, West Bengal is a densely populated state; it becomes even more, compressing for the candidates to follow the guidelines.
Why the Debate?
The National Testing Agency (NTA) earlier ruled out that it will not postpone the NEET and JEE examinations further. Both the examinations accord the national level status, which is why the number of candidates appearing for the exam crosses the mark of 14 lakh each year. Due to such a level of competition, it becomes mandatory for the centre to make sure that the arrangements for the examinations are proper.
Keeping the transparency in mind, NTA has decided to conduct NEET 2020 on a single day in a single shift. This further adds to the problem of following the proper guidelines for the examination. Candidates, as well as their guardians, are requesting the centre to postpone the exam. This struggle is now joined by the chief ministers of the respective states as well.