As the number of people affected by the coronavirus rises across India, students and parents are apprehensive about the upcoming competitive exams. Students have taken to social media platforms to voice their demands and hashtags including #StudentsLivesMatter #postponejeeneet2020, #HealthOverExams and #HealthOverNEETjee are trending on Twitter.
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For the medical entrance exam, NEET 2020, there are over 15 lakh students who have applied, while nearly 9 lakh had applied for JEE Main. Further, a couple of thousands had applied in the second application window for JEE Main, which was to reopen to ensure that students who had earlier skipped it as they aimed to study abroad. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the foreign admissions are at a halt and these students were given a second chance. Thus, over 24 lakh students have to appear for these exams, and to ensure social distancing, entry points and safe travel from home to exam centres can pose a challenge.
These entrance tests were scheduled to be held in May and April, respectively but postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, students are citing several reasons as they demand a further postponement.
After the two central education boards – CBSE and CISCE – decided not to go ahead with the board exams in July and also offered students with an option to opt-out of the exams, now expectations are that NTA too will be giving a decision regarding postponement of entrance exams soon.
@DG_NTA महोदय हम आपके फ़ैसले का सम्मान करते है परंतु हमे अभी इसकी नही बल्कि हमारे भविश्य की रक्षा से संबंधित फ़ैसले की ज़रूरत है. इस्लिये आपसे निवेदन है की NEET JEE की परीक्षा को आगे किया जाये #postponejeeneet #HealthOverExams #StudentLivesMatter #postponeneet #postponejee
— Gotita (@Gottittaa) June 24, 2020
— Akankshya Kar (@kar_akankshya) June 20, 2020
#postponeneet #postpone_neet_jee #healthoverexam #postponeexams
1.approx 3M + students appears in both jee and neet exam
2.what happen if a student positive before exam, can he give exam as normal or you provide a different center for Corona positive students
— Jaideep rayakwal (@RayakwalJaideep) June 16, 2020
@AmanTilak1 Respected sir even if we get 100 percent protection via exam we are not so mentally stable due to fear of getting infected and moreover risking our family for a exam is not a good choice #HealthOverNEETjee #healthoverexam #postponeneet2020 #HealthOverNEETjee
— Ashwini pareek (@Ashwinipareek14) June 16, 2020
In the latest interaction, held digitally, Human Resource Development Minister (HRD) Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank informed that the ministry has been making decisions based on the situation and in areas where it appears to be extreme, appropriate decisions will be taken. He added that students are the asset and future of the nation and their safety is of the utmost importance to the government and no decision will be taken which can endanger their health.
Meanwhile, the admit cards for the exams are yet to be out, however, the ministry has doubled the number of exam centres for both entrance exams.
Students’ demands have been supported by many ministers. Congress leader Shashi Tharoor had recently tweeted –
I support the concerns of these students who want to #cancelboards. These are not normal times : state &Central authorities must adjust to the realities of the pandemic & #lockdown by postponing exams & adjusting later as necesssary. https://t.co/TkT3MMI9s3
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) June 16, 2020
Besides competitive exams, there are also demands to postpone the board exams. Earlier, four mothers had started a series of tweets regarding their concerns around board exams for CISCE-affiliated schools, which are scheduled to be held from July 1. They claimed that in less than a day, around 2300 parents came together across the country to tweet about their anguish. They managed 30,000 tweets in a ‘tweet-storm’ till June 12.
While answering the High Court in a hearing, CISCE had said that while giving students an option to opt out of the board exams, if the situation does not improve till July, it will declare final results of pending subjects based on an internal assessment. The final decision on CBSE pending exams is also expected this week.