Wednesday, 26 August 2020
No plans to postpone JEE, NEET, but final decision lies with education ministry, says MHA
New Delhi: The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) Main and the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) look unlikely to be postponed despite student protests around the country. The Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) says the final decision lies with the Ministry of Education (MoE) and the latter has reiterated its commitment to go ahead with the exams next month.
The JEE (Main) and the NEET (undergraduate) — meant for admissions to engineering and medical colleges, respectively — are scheduled for the first half of September. While the JEE Main is slated between 1 and 6 September, the NEET will be held 13 September.
The government’s decision to go ahead with the exams despite there being no let-up in the Covid-19 pandemic has angered students and parents across the country. While the government insists it will be employing proper precautions, opponents of the decision have cited the fact that students will have to undertake travel to appear for the exam, which they say is ill-advised at the time.
Other objections raised include the disruptions dealt to preparations by the lockdown imposed to check Covid-19.
Speaking to ThePrint, a source in the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) — which has been coordinating the entire lockdown and Unlock efforts — clarified that there is no plan to postpone the exams as yet.
The ultimate decision to hold or postpone the exams will lie with the MoE, the source said.
The source reiterated this when asked about letters written to the central government by Chief Ministers Mamata Banerjee (West Bengal) and Naveen Patnaik (Odisha) seeking a postponement of the exams. “That is something that needs to be looked into by the MoE. They will take a call.”
The National Testing Agency (NTA), the agency under the MoE that conducts the exams, has clarified twice since Friday that the exams will take place as scheduled.
“The Supreme Court has ordered that there is absolutely no justification in the prayer made for postponement of the examination in question relating to NEET UG-2020 as well as JEE (Main) April, 2020,” the NTA said in a statement Tuesday.
“The NTA has, since then, released Admit Cards of JEE (Main) Examination. The Admit Cards of NEET (UG) 2020 will also be released shortly,” it added.
Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ has also said that they will go ahead with the exams. “A lot of parents had written to us asking when will NEET and JEE exams take place and how long can a child keep preparing for exams, which is why we decided to go ahead with exams after postponing them twice,” Pokhriyal said in an interview to DD News Tuesday, when asked whether the government plans to postpone the exams. (The Print)