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HRD Ministry sets up panel to discuss when NEET, JEE 2020 exams can be conducted

This committee, with DG National Testing Agency and other experts as its members, is to submit its recommendations to the HRD Minister by Friday, after which a final announcement will be made.

By: Express News Service | New Delhi | Updated: July 3, 2020 11:03:09 am
This committee, with DG National Testing Agency and other experts as its members, is to submit its recommendations to the HRD Minister by Friday, after which a final announcement will be made. (Express Photo by Abhinav Saha)

Union HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Thursday announced that a committee has been set up to review the prevailing situation of the Covid-19 pandemic and the safety of examinations under the circumstances which will deliberate when the much-awaited NEET and JEE tests can take place.

This committee, with DG National Testing Agency and other experts as its members, is to submit its recommendations to the HRD Minister by Friday, after which a final announcement will be made.

“I have been continuously receiving requests and representations from students taking the JEE and NEET examinations through social media, emails and various platforms of the HRD Ministry, that considering the present circumstances, the examinations should be postponed a little. On the basis of these requests, I had asked DG NTA and his team to look into the matter and take into account all factors of the situation and report back to me tomorrow latest. Our priority is the safety of the students who will be taking the examinations. The Committee will recommend how and when the exams can take place,” Pokhriyal said on Thursday.

As many as 9 lakh candidates have registered to take the JEE (Main), and approximately 16 lakh have registered for NEET.

Read | UGC new guidelines updates

Students across the country have been protesting against holding exams at this time, demanding NEET and JEE be postponed. If the committee decision is to postpone the examinations further, it will further push back the entrance of fresh students in to higher education institutions and the beginning of classes for first year students. The indicative calendar issued by the University Grants Commission in April had proposed the new academic calendar for the fresh batch to commence in the first week of September.

The postponement of JEE (Main) will furthermore push back the dates of JEE (Advanced) as candidates aspiring for JEE (Advanced) will first have to clear the JEE (Main).

The HRD Ministry had earlier deferred all competitive exams scheduled in April, May and June due to the nationwide lockdown.

On May 5, the Ministry announced that the JEE (Main) — the gateway exam for admission to NITs — will be held over five days between July 18 and July 23. The Ministry further announced that the NEET exam for undergraduate medical programmes will be held on July 26.

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