JEE-NEET Examinations Will Be Held In September: SC Refuses To Defer The Schedule!

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JEE-NEET exams schedule will remain unchanged!

Is the current pandemic a challenge or an opportunity? What does it teach us?

Today, the supreme court of India rejected the petition raised by 11 students of 11 different states seeking to postpone or cancel the engineering and medical entrance examinations, JEE (Main) April -2020 and NEET UG-2020 that were scheduled to be held by September 2020. 

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The apex court has formed a view that JEE 2020 and NEET 2020 had to be conducted as per the plan of schedule. 

The National Testing Agency(NTA) on 03 July 2020, announced and came out with a public notice declaring the schedules of the examinations such as JEE (Main) April-2020 between 1st to 6th September 2020 and NEET UG-2020 on 13th September 2020 respectively. 

Referring to this NTA’s deliberate notification, a petition or a plea of the request was filed through Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava by 11 students from 11 different states of the country seeking an appeal to hold off the entrance examinations until the return of normalcy across the nation. 

The petition claimed that in the wake of the surging rate of the Covid19 pandemic, arranging for entrance examination is utterly inhumane. The fatal COVID-19 pandemic has already infected over 20 lakh people across India, and the spread is not showing any sign of slow down. There is a spiking number of patients adding every day. To conduct the entrance examination as in normal days is completely absurd. In such a catastrophic phase, such exam gatherings would put several lakhs of young student’s lives at huge stake. And it is like purposefully adding more pressure to parents and students, stated the plea.

It is common to understand the difficulties of parents in such a crisis. They have to safeguard their children while preparing for the examinations, such as commuting to tuition centres or paying for online classes, facing the unprecedented medical expenses, cost of accommodation, cost of transportation to examination centres and above all risking the health and lives of their children. Moreover, parents who are facing job loss and other financial shocks of the pandemic are in great distress and quite overwhelmed by the exam notice.

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The petitioners also contended that the examination conducting authority has deliberately ignored the hardships of several students hailing from flood-affected areas of Bihar, Assam and North Eastern States. They argued that it is practically impossible to execute either online or offline exams despite the continuous natural calamities. The petition also seeks to increase the number of examination centres for the said JEE (Main) April -2020 and NEET UG-2020. Like at least one centre for one district across the country.

However, SC didn’t found the reasoning and excuses much convincing. The Supreme Court bench presided by Justice Arun Mishra had passed the order stating that

“Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long. Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all… Education should be opened up. COVID may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait for another year? Do you know what is the loss to the country and peril to the students.”

Amidst the global pandemic, the court had passed the orders in favor of the NTA only because of the assurance given by the Solicitor General Tushar Mehta representing NTA to conduct the exams with all due protections in place.

The apex court order shows that it leaves no stones unturned when it comes to imparting quality education. As Justice Mishra says, we have to strive to live with the pandemic, whatever happens, life has to go on no matter what. We have to find ways to come out with flying colors.

Though the order may look unfair in these challenging times, when we look deeply into the crisis, we can understand the fact that every difficult situation is a blessing in disguise. This would encourage us to turn any challenge into an opportunity to grow and prosper.

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