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A group of parents’ body has now moved the Supreme Court of India, requesting the apex body to instruct NTA to conduct the entrance exams for engineering and medical i.e. JEE Main 2020 and NEET (UG) 2020, as per the revised schedule of September 2020. As per the reports, the plea was filed by Advocate Jaikriti S Jadeja on behalf of Gujarat Parents Association under Article 32. It is to be noted that this plea comes a few days after 11 students moved SC demanding postponement of JEE Main, amid COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the new petition filed by parents, a further postponement of entrance exams such as JEE Main 2020 could have a larger and adverse impact on the education of students. It will result in the loss in the academic year of 2020-21 due to abnormal delay in admissions and thus, result in loss of important learning.
“Admission Process is Time Bound”
It states that NTA must conduct the JEE Main 2020 as per the revised schedule. The exam has been postponed thrice in this year resulting in a loss of 5 months of academic calendar. The conduct of these exams by NTA is utmost needed “as the admission process is time bound” and the complete admission process for engineering institutes and medical institutes is to be conducted within a given time period. Supreme Court judgements and order makes the admission and counselling process compulsory.
The whole process is divided into 3-tier structure and must be followed within the time frame.“There is no gainsaying in the fact that each stage of the above-mentioned process is vulnerable to errors and consequent challenges, having a direct impact on the academic sessions”, the plea states.
“Further Delay Could Impact Performance”
It also emphasises on the fact that many students have been rigorously preparing for the JEE Main and NEET (UG) exams since the past 3 years. Delay in conducting these exams impacts their career and life. The students are already stressed due to the pandemic and further delay will add to their stress levels. There will be unpredictability of their future and hence, their performance in exams could be impacted as well.
The conduct of JEE Main and NEET is followed on the grounds of several exams that have been conducted by NTA and other exams conducting bodies amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Moreover, it argues that NTA has re-opened the JEE Main Form Correction Facility multiple times in the past to ensure students have the opportunity to revise their exam city preferences.
Currently, JEE Main 2020 has been scheduled from 1st to 6th September 2020, as the authority expected decrease in the daily cases of COVID-19 until September. However, there has been a consistent rise in daily cases now reaching more than 62,000. The government or Ministry of Education is yet to respond to both the filed petitions.
In the wake of COVID-19 pandemic, around 11 students of 11 States have petitioned at the Supreme Court for rescheduling JEE Main 2020 beyond September. There has been constant resistance from students on Twitter and other social media platforms over conducting JEE Main and NEET entrance exams amid COVID-19. Meanwhile, there has been no response from the government over this issue.
Anubha Sahai, Chief of Parents’ Association spoke on the issue. “Students across India want deferment of JEE and NEET 2020 because of COVID-19 cases growing rapidly. 11 students from 11 different states have petitioned at the Supreme Court to provide some relief. We hope that the apex court will give justice to these students,” she said.
Fresh Opportunity To Fill Exam Forms
The petition was filed by Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, who is representing these 11 students. As per the petition, students want the ‘exams should be conducted only after normalcy is re-established in India post the COVID-19 crisis’. They also demand that the number of test centres must be increased and at least one exam centre must be established in all the districts of the country. Along with this, the petition also says that aspirants of JEE Main and NEET must get the opportunity to fill fresh application forms and choose exam centres once again.
-On behalf of 11 students from 11 States, today I have filed a Petition in Supreme Court
-To Conduct it after COVID subsides
-Increase Exam Centres
-Give fresh opportunity to aspirants to fill Form
— Alakh Alok Srivastava (@advocate_alakh) August 6, 2020
Many students are providing reasons over the risks of conducting entrance exams at such huge levels. Students are citing reasons for KCET, where almost 60 asymptomatic students were found COVID-19 positive. Students are posting tweets with the hashtag #SaveJEE_NEETstudentsPM
We don’t have trust on your SOP after KCET failure.
SOP is only on papers!!!
Nobody will come to check after exam if you are safe or not!!
— The Penchill Man (@penchillman) August 6, 2020
The basis for postponement of JEE Main 2020 was that many other exams have already been cancelled or postponed indefinitely. CLAT 2020 has been postponed indefinitely, and major board exams have been cancelled amid COVID-19. This can be taken as valid grounds for cancellation of JEE Main and NEET exams too.
COVID-19 pandemic is not going to stop anytime soon. The daily cases are growing with each successive day and with lockdown in place, the travel is also restricted in many areas. As per the Ministry of Home Affairs ‘Unlock 3.0’ guidelines, foreign travel is still at halt. There are certain criteria for travel but issuance of a visa is still restricted and various countries have imposed travel restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Due to this, Joint Entrance Exam (Advanced) or JEE Advanced 2020, will not be held in foreign countries.
Preferred Exam City of India only
As per the official update posted on the official website, those candidates who are eligible for JEE Advanced 2020 can select their preferred exam centres in India when the JEE Advanced Application Forms are open. Only the top 2.5 lac candidates of JEE Main are qualified for JEE Advanced. Recently, the eligibility criteria for JEE Advanced, or say, for admissions to IITs was changed amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The top 20 percentile rule or the minimum aggregate of 75% in 12th boards was scrapped as eligibility criterion. This change was made by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) due to partial cancellation of 12th boards.
Now, all those who have a passing certificate in 12th boards will be considered for admissions to the IITs.
In addition to this, IIT Delhi, the conducting authority of JEE Advanced has ensured that social distancing at exam centres will be maintained. Arrangements will be made at entry and exit points and all throughout exam centres to ensure that social distancing is not broken by candidates. Masks and hand sanitizer will be allowed inside the exam halls.
After multiple tweets and requests from the students, the HRD Ministry has given some relief to the students. Considering the prevailing situation and floods of requests from parents and students, MHRD has set up a committee consisting of Director General of NTA and other experts. This committee will assess the situation for appearing for JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic. HRD Ministry seeks response on this by tomorrow i.e. 3rd July 2020. This date is also being anticipated as the date for the release of JEE Main Admit Cards.
Announcement of forming this panel was tweeted in a video message by Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank. He addressed the students, parents and teachers, who have been requesting a response for several days due to the rising COVID-19 cases. He also said that after the recommendations from the committee, a decision on postponing or conducting JEE Main, as well as NEET, will be taken.
Looking at the prevailing circumstances & requests received from students & parents appearing for #JEE & #NEET examinations, a committee consisting of @DG_NTA & other experts has been advised to review the situation & submit its recommendations to @HRDMinistry latest by tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/xByKLUqAIc
— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) July 2, 2020
Students were mostly happy about this response as it was their first victory on the regular online protests. More than 2.5 lakh tweets have been posted on #NoExamsInCovid and the most recent trend on twitter was #RIPNTA on the ‘dead’ response on this situation.
Approximately, 11 lakh students will be appearing for JEE Main 2020. Three papers are to be conducted within a period of 1 week, with two shifts daily. Around 2.5 lakh students qualifying JEE Main will also be required to appear for JEE Advanced in order to get admission to IITs. What do you think the government is going to decide? Post your comments below.
COVID-19 is not going to slow down anytime soon. Daily new cases reached a new high of close to 20,000 recently. Considering the risks, CBSE cancelled the boards for Class 10th and 12th. CTET (Central Teacher Eligibility Test) has also been postponed until an unannounced date. For class 12th boards, it has been clarified that students will have the option to take the cancelled exams to improve their score. However, CBSE shall conduct the exams only when the conditions are favourable. Students are asking to consider this as a precedent and postpone JEE Main 2020 as well.
Each and every tweet by Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank and National Testing Agency (NTA) is flooded with replies requesting postponement of JEE Main 2020 and NEET (UG) 2020. On 26th June 2020, in an interview with Zee News, Mr Pokhriyal stated that JEE Main 2020 is scheduled for 18th to 23rd July only. Any further decision on the dates of JEE Main will be taken in accordance with the circumstances in future. This statement comes when there is less than a month left for JEE Main 2020 amid the rising coronavirus cases. Meanwhile, students are still tweeting with hashtags #NoExamsInCovid and #PostponeJEE
Sir @DrRPNishank Why you are making suspense regarding the dates of exams 😓, if you want to postpone or not to postpone please clarify ..we are veryconfusede and we are not able to focus in our studies. PLEASE🙏
@ugc_india @HRDMinistry @SanjayDhotreMP @AmitShah @narendramodi
— manishrattan (@manishrattan3) June 26, 2020
Isn’t safety of students attending competitive exams a matter of national importance too. Then why isn’t any national leader talking about it #postponejee #PostponeNEETandJEE @narendramodi @DrRPNishank
— Parantap Parmar (@ParantapParmar) June 27, 2020
Students and parents are concerned about their safety as the coronavirus poses a great risk of infection in large crowds. Moreover, some students have lost their family members to this disease. This has affected the mental health of students and they are not in a position to attempt the exam due to stress or depression. MHRD and NTA have not issued any clarification or any official announcement on the dates of JEE Main 2020. All social media channels are being used to seek answers from the authorities regarding postponing the aforesaid exam to safeguard students from the fatal COVID-19.
— Shubham Parashar (@Parashar06000) June 27, 2020
It is to be noted that around 11 lakh candidates have registered for JEE Main 2020 which will be conducted in 233 cities and in over 2000 exam centres. Although the exam is scheduled under various shifts over a period of one week, a large gathering of students can post a great risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus. The bigger risk is infection from children to their parents as COVID-19 is more fatal in older aged patients.
Currently, JEE Main has been postponed by over 3 months from April to July 2020 amid the outbreak of COVID-19. Along with this, JEE Advanced 2020 was also postponed and is now scheduled for 23rd August 2020. Postponing the second session of JEE Main 2020 poses questions over the validity of the January session of JEE Main as well. Students are worried about their health, but what could be the outcome of losing 1 year of education?
Solicitor General Tushar Mehta informed the Supreme Court of India about the decision by CBSE to cancel the remaining board exams scheduled from July 1st to 15th 2020. This decision came as a surprise to students, and as a relief to parents. The COVID-19 crisis in India is growing at a very high pace than ever before. Conducting exams during such a phase was posing a great risk to students as well as their parents and families. However, CBSE has told that those students of class 12th who wish to take the exams will be allowed to improve their scores, once CBSE decides to conduct the exams. Along with CBSE, CISCE also announced the cancellation of their board exams. CISCE board exams were scheduled from 1st to 14th July 2020.
Now, twitter handles of NTA (@DG_NTA) and Education Minister of India, Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal (@DrRPNishank) are flooded with replies from students requesting cancellation of JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020. 12th board percentage is one of the important eligibility criteria for admission to a large number of engineering and medical colleges. In the current situation, it is obvious that students will not be able to show their best aggregates by performing well in board exams. This will ultimately hamper their chances of getting their desired college through JEE Main or JEE Advanced. NTA has already postponed the JEE Main exam dates and re-scheduled it to 18th-23rd July 2020.
— Aryan Rajwani (@aryan_rajwani) June 25, 2020
More than 2.5 lac tweets on #NoExamsInCovid
Students are also trying to explain their current situation such as many are depressed while some are facing problems due to family members infected of COVID-19. This could also result in poor performance in JEE Main exam or they might even be forced to skip the exam due to inadvertent reasons. Around 2.5 lac tweets have been posted with the hashtag #NoExamsInCovid, with students pleading to cancel exams amid the COVID-19 disease outbreak.
To all those SELFISH people out there asking not to postpone neet/jee. Do u guys have hearts at all! You might be rich and are living happily now. There are so many students out there who are suffering massively. Please for once think about others.#NoExamsInCovid #CBSE pic.twitter.com/piuxaf4c1m
— Adit Reddy (@adit___7) June 23, 2020
Many students have been reporting disregards towards social distancing guidelines at a few exams conducted recently. Maintaining large crowds has always been a problem for the authorities.
@iiit_hyderabad #postponejeeandneet @HRDMinistry @DrRPNishank #NoExamsInCovid This type of crowd gathered outside the centres of UGEE EXAM of @iiit_hyderabad where social distancing is impossible. Waste of conducting such an exam, risking lives. Was it necessary? pic.twitter.com/PatTLMrvvq
— Gouri Vignesh Jawalkar (@GouriVignesh) June 24, 2020
Sir please take a call on neet and jee also… it’s been long.. understand our anxiety…we see your every tweet with hope..plz..update sir plz…
— AKBdwj0674728 (@bhardwaj674) June 25, 2020
As per the reports, the decision on JEE Main will be announced by the government today. Cancellation or postponement of the exam will invite even more questions regarding the admission as well as the academic calendar for students. Students are advised to stay calm, keep washing your hands and stay safe!
A large number of students, parents and guardians have been requesting National Testing Agency (NTA) and HRD Ministry for the postponement of JEE Main exam dates. The Supreme Court’s hearing is scheduled for Tuesday (23rd June) over a petition filed by parents. They are requesting the government to cancel the class 12th CBSE examinations. After the central govt’s reply, the HRD Ministry and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare might be pushing the JEE Main and other exam dates further upon reviewing the prevailing situation of the COVID crisis.
Meanwhile, students and meme pages started trending #NoExamsInCovid on Twitter. A large number of students from class 10th, 12th and even college students are requesting authorities to either cancel the exams or push the exam dates further. The National Students Union of India supported this trend and has already made a breakthrough. Madhya Pradesh government has allowed general promotion of UG and PG students of state government colleges.
Exams are supposed to evaluate students based on what they have learnt during their classes.
If students haven’t been able to attend the classes, especially online classes, how is examination justified ?#NoExamsInCovid
— NSUI (@nsui) June 22, 2020
मेरे बच्चों #COVID19 से उत्पन्न विपरीत परिस्थितियों में मैंने आपके हित में कुछ फैसले किये हैं। स्नातक प्रथम एवं द्वितीय वर्ष तथा स्नातकोत्तर द्वितीय सेमेस्टर के परीक्षार्थियों को गत वर्ष/सेमेस्टर या आंतरिक मूल्यांकन के आधार पर अगली कक्षा या सेमेस्टर में प्रवेश दिया जायेगा।
— Shivraj Singh Chouhan (@ChouhanShivraj) June 22, 2020
There has been a chorus of voices amid the COVID-19 crisis on conducting exams. Previously, hashtags like #HealthOverExams and #StudentsLivesMatter has been trending on Twitter too. The trend picked up pace when upon the reports of the apex court’s hearing of the petition filed by parents. While some students are worried about the spread of Coronavirus upon conducting the exam at large, some are under mental pressure due to families being treated with COVID-19. There are multiple students who have someone close in their family being treated for COVID-19 which has hampered their studies.
Father of my friend in varanasi has been tested +ve for covid-19.He is also preparing for neet exams.Only him and his mother are there in the house,how is it possible to study after such issues?
Please grant equal opportunity to each one of us.#postponeneet #HealthOverNEETjee
— Dipu Singh (@DipuSin09955727) June 23, 2020
Almost every tweet of Mr Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’, the Education Minister of India, gathers replies on postponing the JEE Main 2020, NEET 2020 and other exams. The JEE Main exam is currently scheduled for 18th to 23rd July 2020 which is still a month away. The number of COVID-19 cases in India has recently crossed 4.4 lacs with each successive day breaking the record of the daily cases.