JEE Main, NEET 2020: Union HRD Minister Romesh Pokhriyal Nishank has today announced that a committee, with DG National Testing Agency (NTA) and other experts as its members, has been set up to review the situation of the pandemic and the safety of conducting examinations under the circumstances. The committee will deliberate when the much-awaited NEET/ JEE examinations can actually take place. This committee is to submit its recommendations to the HRD Minister by tomorrow, after which a final announcement will be made.
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
“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 in to 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,” said HRD Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank today.
Earlier in April, the HRD Ministry had deferred all competitive exams scheduled in April, May, and June due to the Covid-19 lockdown. On May 5, the Ministry announced that the JEE Main, the gateway exam for admission to the NITs, will be held over five days between July 18 and July 23. The Ministry further announced that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical programmes will be held on July 26. Originally, JEE Main was scheduled to be held between April 7 and April 11, and NEET on May 3.
The Ministry had pushed back the date of the examinations due to the restrictions on transportation during the lockdown, and the inability of candidates to reach their examination centres. As many as 9 lakh candidates have registered to take JEE (Main) exam and approximately 16 lakh for NEET.
If the committee decision is to postpone the examinations further, it will further push back the entrance of fresh students into higher educational institutions and the beginning of classes for first year students. The indicative calendar issued by the University Grants Commission (UGC) 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 also push back the dates of JEE Advanced as candidates aspiring for JEE Advanced will first have to clear the JEE Main.
Students across the country have been protesting against holding exams at this point of time, and demanding that the NEET and JEE exams be postponed. In a response to these protests, the Telangana government recently postponed all CETs in the state.