SC to hear plea regarding JEE and NEET exams

Representative Image

Representative Image

Today, the Supreme Court will also hear a review plea by six opposition-ruled states against its August 17 ruling, which had upheld the Centre's decision to hold NEET, JEE exams in September.

The review plea has been filed by ministers from West Bengal (Moloy Ghatak), Jharkhand (Rameshwar Oraon), Rajasthan (Raghu Sharma), Chhattisgarh (Amarjeet Bhagat), Punjab (BS Sidhu) and Maharashtra (Uday Ravindra Sawant). A bench of Justices Ashok Bhushan, B R Gavai and Krishna Murari, which considered the pleas in-chamber, said there was no merit in the review petitions.

The six ministers from Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh, West Bengal and Jharkhand have sought postponement of JEE-NEET exams scheduled for next month. "A precious year of students can not be wasted", a three-judge Bench led by Justice Arun Mishra had said, adding that students' career "cannot be put under jeopardy for long".

The plea also cites the lack of facilities such as transport, hotels and restaurants as factors that could cause discomfort to students appearing for these exams.

The remaining JEE-Mains will be held as scheduled on September 5 and 6, and the NEET will be conducted on September 13.

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They said the decision failed to balance the competing but equally important aspects of conducting the exams and safety of students, ie, their right to life as mandatory safeguards had not been ensured during the tests.

"Life has to go on.Life has to move ahead".

JEE-Mains have already begun across the country from September 1, with guidelines for maintaining social distance minimising contact. However, many students have to shell out a huge sum of money to reach the centers and take the exam. Transportation issues, despite many states running special trains, is seen to be a major hindrance in JEE Main 2020. JEE Main 2020, for admission to engineering programmes in participating institutions, started on September 1. Similarly for NEET UG, 15.97 lakhs students will appear in 3,843 centres across the country, almost 415 students per centre, it said.

"It is rather ironical that at the initial stage when there were much lesser number of COVID-19 positive cases, the examinations were postponed and now when the daily spread of the virus is at its peak the examinations are directed to be conducted forthwith", the plea said.

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