NEET-JEE 2020: Mamata Banerjee, Sonia Gandhi and other opposition leaders may approach the Supreme Court to challenge Centre’s decision
- At the virtual meeting, Mamata Banerjee asked the opposition leaders and several state chief ministers to approach the Supreme Court in order to postpone the exams.
- Congress’ Interim President Sonia Gandhi blamed it on the government and said,” students' problems and exams issues dealt with uncaringly by the Centre.”
- The Ministry of Home Affairs has reiterated that the exams won’t be postponed. However, it also said the final decision lies with the Ministry of Education.
AdvertisementIndia’s opposition leaders, including — Congress’ Sonia Gandhi, West Bengal’s Mamata Banerjee and Shiv Sena’s Uddhav Thackeray — have come together to discuss the ongoing debate over holding
At the virtual meeting, Mamata Banerjee asked the opposition leaders and several state chief ministers to approach the Supreme Court in order to postpone the exams.
"Let us go to the Supreme Court. Let us talk about this matter. This is a mental agony for students. I have not seen so many atrocities in a democracy. The situation is very serious. We have to speak up for the children," Mamata Banerjee said.
Congress’ Interim President Sonia Gandhi blamed it on the government and said,” students' problems and exams issues dealt with uncaringly by the Centre.” Whereas, Maharashtra CM Uddhav Thackeray suggested opposition chief ministers to “speak louder as the Central government is trying to suppress our voice.”
The Ministry of Home Affairs has reiterated that the exams won’t be postponed. However, it also said the final decision lies with the Ministry of Education.
The COVID-19 pandemic has put the future of 25 lakh students in India in jeopardy. These students were supposed to appear for the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) in April and May — to get admission to top medical and engineering colleges in the country. However, these exams were postponed multiple times due to the deadly coronavirus outbreak.
Recently, the Supreme Court has ordered that the exams will take place in September. The apex court’s decision has triggered a debate across the country among students, parents as well as politicians who believe these exams should be deferred. The Ministry of Education has clarified that the exams will be held as decided earlier.
Climate activist Greta Thunberg also opposes holding the NEET and JEE exams during this pandemic, calling it 'deeply unfair'
It’s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while mi… https://t.co/eGJdki1rir— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) 1598338814000
Here’s a timeline of events so far:
- On August 6, eleven students filed the petition urged to hold the exams “only after normalcy is restored in the country post-COVID crisis. The petition also sought to provide new opportunities to all the JEE and NEET aspirants who want to submit their application forms and select a new exam centre.
- On August 15, the Supreme Court of India dismissed a plea seeking postponement of the Joint Entrance Examination and The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test 2020. The Supreme Court added that a precious year of the students ‘cannot be wasted’ and that life must go on.
- On August 21, BJP MP Subramanian Swamy sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to direct the Education Ministry to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) till Diwali and warned of suicides by youths otherwise.
- On August 21, the National Testing Agency (NTA) confirmed that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), will be held as scheduled.
- Nine days after the SC rejected the plea, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee urged the central government to postpone JEE-NEET.
- On August 24, over four thousand students protested against SC’s decision to hold NEET-JEE in September. On the same day, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi asked the government to defer both NEET and JEE.
- DMK President M K Stalin on August 24, wrote a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal saying, “No decision shall be made in haste putting the lives of students at stake. The government shall act, keeping the well-being and future of students in mind. In the light of the severe difficulties, I sincerely request you to postpone the JEE, NEET exams until COVID-19 is brought under control.”
- Meanwhile, the Supreme Court refused to allow NEET exams to be conducted abroad. The court said students who wish to come from abroad, can return by Vande Bharat flights for the examination. However, the court said students must quarantine for 14 days.
- The court also suggested the Medical Council of India, which conducts the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam, to consider conducting online exams like JEE.
- On August 25, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik wrote a letter to Union Education Minister saying, "It would be unsafe for students to visit test centres physically amid #COVID19 for JEE (Main) & NEET tests. Therefore, it is requested that exams scheduled to be held in September may be postponed to a later date.
- Separately, the National Testing Agency (NTA) released a detailed list of safety protocols to be followed during the examination.
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