Plea in SC seeks postponement of JEE (Main), NEET-UG exams amid COVID-19

New Delhi, August 6

A plea within the Supreme Court on Thursday sought postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations, that are scheduled to be performed in September, amid spurt within the variety of COVID-19 instances within the nation.  

While referring to the coronavirus pandemic, the plea has sought quashing of July three notices issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA), by which it was determined to conduct Joint Entrance Examination (Main) April 2020 and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-Undergraduate exams in September.

The plea, filed by 11 college students belonging to 11 states, mentioned that the authorities be directed to conduct these exams solely after the normalcy is restored.

As per the general public notices issued by the NTA, JEE (Main) April 2020 is scheduled from September 1-6, whereas NEET UG 2020 examination is scheduled for September 13.

The plea, filed by way of advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, has additionally sought route to the authorities to extend the variety of examination centres for these exams.

“Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. The best recourse at this stage can be to wait for some more time, let COVID-19 crisis subside and then only conduct these exams, in order to save lives of the students and their parents,” the plea mentioned.

It claimed that NTA, which conducts entrance exams for admission in greater instructional establishments in India, has determined to conduct JEE (Main) April-2020 by way of on-line mode and NEET UG-2020 exams by way of offline mode at 161 centres throughout India.

It alleged that NTA has indefinitely postponed the National Council of Hotel Management Joint Entrance Examination-2020, which was scheduled to be performed on June 22, in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“While deciding to conduct the aforesaid JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 exams in the month of September, 2020, the respondents (NTA and others) have overlooked that many states have refused to allow conducting of any professional or non-professional exams in their states at this stage and hence the same is likely to cause unimaginable harassment to the petitioners and other similarly situated students,” it mentioned.

“It is respectfully submitted that the students who are well equipped with computer and strong internet connection will give online exams while in other hand the students who are unable to give and arrange online exams, will have to come to exam centres by risking their lives. This is a discrimination between students which must be avoided,” it claimed.

The plea has alleged that involved authorities have ignored the plight of lakhs of scholars from Bihar, Assam and north jap states, that are presently reeling below flood, and conducting both on-line or offline exams in such locations will not be doable. PTI

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