In a recent interview, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal, Union Minister for Human Resource Development, said that the JEE Main April session proposed for the end of May 2020 is likely to be delayed till June 2020 with the growing crisis of Coronavirus (COVID-19) all over the country. He further said the board of examinations, IITs, and other organisations and stakeholders are being consulted for the announcement of JEE Main new dates.
Impact of lockdown on the academic calendar
He also stated his views regarding the impact of lockdown extension amidst the coronavirus outbreak on the academic calendar. He agreed that the academic session will probably be delayed. Examinations would be conducted only after schools or colleges are reopened. Soon after which, admissions to UG and PG courses will begin for students. He said that a committee has been set up by the Ministry of HRD to review and assess the situation of examinations and academic calendar. The said committee will soon submit the report as well. He mentioned that the major priority shall remain the safety of students and teachers.
Upcoming pressure for students
When asked about the pressure that would be arising on new batches of class 10th and 12th, he said that course syllabus shall be reduced depending on the situation for Board Exams 2021. CBSE will analyse the lost duration/period and accordingly reduce the curriculum load on students.
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Affect on college placements due to economy breakdown
The current scenario is building tension among final year students as it is being viewed as the worst recession period, even more than the 2008 Global Financial Crisis. Many students placed under college placements, even from IITs, are scared that the companies will withdraw offers. Mr Pokhriyal said that he held a meeting with Directors of all IITs to ensure proper campus placements. He also said that All IITs’ Placement Committee has reached out to recruiters to not withdraw offers. The government is working on minimizing the impact of COVID-19 pandemic over the country’s economy.
Reaching out to students from marginalised backgrounds
Even today, it is possible that a student from a poor marginalised background might not have access to the internet or television. The only approach for these students was to attend a free test practice center by NTA or an internet cafe for the purpose of practising mocks. Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the HRD Ministry is running educational content on Swayam Prabha Channel (32 free educational channels available on DTH). He also said the Ministry is trying to utilise the option of All India Radio. Strategies to cover all the communities of the society are being researched and shall be implemented soon.