Updated: August 17, 2020 8:37:50 pm
The Supreme Court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking postponement of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), scheduled to be held in September 2020. It said the postponement will put students’ career in peril. Dismissing the petition, the apex court said it has taken note of assurance by the authorities that the exams will be held with adequate precautions.
“Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long,” the court said, adding that it has taken note of assurance by authorities that the exams will be held with adequate precautions. The JEE Main will be held from September 1 to 6 while NEET will be held on September 13. The JEE Advanced on September 27. These exams were postponed twice this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, however, students were demanding a further deferment.
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The counsel appearing for the petitioners told the bench that lakhs of students are looking towards the top court for relief and they were only seeking postponement of these exams. The plea, filed by 11 students belonging to 11 states, had sought quashing of the July 3 notices issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA), by which it was decided to conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) April 2020 and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET)-Undergraduate exams in September.
The plea, filed through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, had referred to COVID-19 pandemic and said authorities be directed to conduct these exams only after normalcy is restored. The plea had also sought direction to the authorities to increase the number of examination centres.
“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 had said.
It had claimed that NTA, which conducts entrance exams for admission in higher educational institutions in India, has decided to conduct JEE (Main) April-2020 through online mode and NEET UG-2020 exams through offline mode at 161 centres across the country.
It had alleged that NTA has indefinitely postponed the National Council of Hotel Management Joint Entrance Examination-2020, which was scheduled to be conducted on June 22, in wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The plea had also alleged that authorities concerned have ignored the plight of lakhs of students from Bihar, Assam and north eastern states, which are presently reeling under flood, and conducting either online or offline exams in such places may not be possible.
SC dismisses tpetition seeking postponement of NEET/JEE exams saying postponement will put students career in peril. Says it has taken note of assurance by authorities that the exams will be held with adequate precautions. @IndianExpress
— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) August 17, 2020
Over 9 lakh had applied to appear for JEE Main while nearly 16 lakh registered for NEET. Candidates were given several options to opt for the nearest exam center. The number of exam centres, claims NTA, have also been increased by almost double to ensure safety of students.
–With inputs from PTI
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