'Students want exams to be held’: Centre firm on conducting JEE, NEET exams

entrance exam

New Delhi: The Centre is firm on conducting the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in September, despite the objection raised by various state governments.

While pointing out that nearly 17 lakh students have already downloaded the admit cards, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal said that the students want the exams to be held at any cost.

The Education Minister’s remark comes amid a growing chorus for the postponement of the medical and engineering entrance exams in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic in the country.

The Union Minister also said that students, who have been preparing for years, have approached the government, demanding that the entrance exams be held. More than 10 lakh students have downloaded the admit cards for NEET and seven lakh have downloaded the JEE admit cards. 

As many as 15.97 lakh students have applied for the NEET and 9.53 lakh for the JEE (Main) this year.

JEE (main), the entrance exam for admission to top engineering colleges, is scheduled to be held from September 1 to 6. The medical entrance exam NEET will be held on September 13. 

The exams have been already postponed twice due to the COVID-19 crisis.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) has also made it clear that the exams will be held with all the safety measures. More number of examination centres, the seating arrangement in line with social distancing norms, and fewer students per room are among the steps that the NTA will take for the safe conduct of the entrance exams.

Political battle

The Congress and various other opposition parties have demanded that the exams be rescheduled due to the pandemic and floods in certain parts of the country.

Seven non-BJP state governments also decided to approach the Supreme Court against the Centre's decision. DMK chief M K Stalin too urged Chief Ministers of Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Odisha to join this move.

However, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that his government had not taken a favourable stand towards this.

But even the CPM politburo said that the situation in the country was not conducive to conduct exams and these need to be rescheduled to ensure that the students do not lose out on the academic year.

The Odisha government too demanded that the exams be postponed. Tamil Nadu also wants the exams to be rescheduled.

However, the BJP asserted that the Centre will not allow the opposition's move to the ‘destroy the children's future’. 

"Already 85 per cent of students have downloaded the admit cards. The Congress wants to play political games even though the students stand to lose out on an academic year," BJP general secretary Bhupender Yadav said.

The Supreme Court had last week rejected a plea, seeking the postponement of the two exams, while pointing out that a 'precious' academic year of students 'cannot be wasted'.

China, Germany conducted entrance exams

Other countries, that were severely affected by the pandemic, have successfully conducted national exams.

China, where the COVID-19 pandemic originated, conducted the undergraduate entrance exam GAOKAO in June. As many as 97.5 lakh students appeared for the exam. Germany, where more than 9,000 people died due to the pandemic, also conducted the ABITUR entrance exam.

JEE advanced on Sept 27

The JEE (advanced) exam will be held on September 27. The first paper will be from 9 am to 12 pm and second paper from 2.30 am to 5.30 pm. The results will be out on October 5.

The registration process will be held from 10 am on September 11 to 5 pm on September 16. Online fee payment can be made till 5 pm on September 17.

For more details, check the website: jeeadv.ac.in.

The registration process for Architecture aptitude test will be held from 10 am on October 5 to 5 pm on October 6. The exam will be held on October 8 and the results will be out on October 11. Seat allocation is from October 6 to November 9.

The exam centres in Kerala: Thiruvananthapuram, Kollam, Kottayam, Alappuzha, Kochi, Thrissur, Malappuram, Palakkad, Kozhikode, Kannur and Kasaragod.

The revised brochure and the mock tests are available on the website.

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