At a time when the government is prepared to go ahead with engineering and Medical entrance tests–especially after the Supreme Court gave a green signal for it- opposition unites against the move. In a meeting with Sonia Gandhi, seven non-BJP Chief ministers expressed their unhappiness over conducting the Joint Engineering Entrance (JEE) and Natinal Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) in the first week of September.
Punjab CM Amrinder Singh said that he thrice wrote to the PM for the postponement of the entrance test. Singh advised the CMs to meet with the Prime Minister as soon as possible since the exam dates are approaching. West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee went on the suggest that holding exams at this juncture will be a mental agony.
On the other hand, Tamil Nadu government urged the Center to cancel this year’s exams and take admission on the basis of 12th marks.
Many students are demanding postponement of entrance tests due to fear of contracting the virus. On the other hand, given the restrictions on public transportation in many states, there are aspirants who do not have the wherewithal finding it virtually impossible to make it to the exam centers.
Moreover, several experts are also not in favour of taking the risk on ground that most of the students go along with their parents to write these exams, which may cause assembly of a large number of people at test centers. Such assemblies may potentially trigger mass infection of viruses, they say. Others are concerned that computers that will be used to take the test of multiple students in JEE may also cause the infection.
Amidst rising clamour against holding the exam at this juncture Education Minister Ramesh Pokrhriyal maintained that Parents and students wanted the exams and many of them approached him for the same.
While observers who want the exam to be held as scheduled time argue that private institutions are going ahead with screening and other admission formalities, thus its students who are eyeing on the government colleges will suffer if these tests are postponed indefinitely.
Many postponements have already taken place and any further delay will result in a year lost which will eventually result in twice as many students competing in next year’s entrance test, they say.
Meanwhile, the National Testing Agency said that there is ‘no reason to not conduct the exam’. All efforts are being made to save the academic year of students, the NTA said.