Published: 27th August 2020
Amid protests #postponeNEETJEE, over 100 academicians write to PM Modi in favour of conducting the exams
The letter of support from the academicians came when several political parties and leaders have asked the Centre to postpone NEET/JEE examinations for the safety of students
Over 100 academics and scholars on Wednesday night wrote a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi in favour of conducting the NEET and JEE (Mains) exams scheduled for the first week of September. While the country is beaming with protests by students, activists and others since the announcement, the academicians have cited the need for the exams as the careers of the students cannot be compromised at any cost.
"Youths and students are the future of the nation but in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, clouds of uncertainty have gathered over their careers too. There are a lot of apprehensions about admission and classes which need to be resolved at the earliest," they said in their letter. Like every year, this year too millions of students have passed their Class 12 exams and are now waiting at home to eagerly take the next step, the letter added.
"The government has announced the dates for JEE-Mains and NEET any further delay in conducting the exams will result in a waste of a precious year for students. The dreams and future of our youth and students cannot be compromised at any cost. However, some are trying to play with the future of our students simply to propel their own political agenda and oppose the government," it said.
The signatories include academicians from the Delhi University, IGNOU, Lucknow University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Banaras Hindu University, IIT Delhi and Indian academicians from foreign universities such as the University of London, University of California, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem and Ben Gurion University, Israel, among numerous others.
"We strongly believe that the central government will successfully conduct the JEE and NEET exams taking full precautions to ensure that the future of students is taken care of and the academic calendar for 2020-21 is rolled out," the letter added. Professor CB Sharma of IGNOU, Prakash Singh of the Delhi University, Sanjeev Sharma, the VC of MGCUB in Bihar's Motihari, Jayaprasad, the Pro-VC of the Central University of Kerala, Ainul Hasan from JNU are among some of the academicians who wrote the letter to PM Modi.
More than 14 lakh admit cards for the medical and engineering entrance exams, both NEET and JEE, were downloaded after the National Testing Agency (NTA) released them on Wednesday, even as the issue was a matter of concern and was being debated upon extensively during a meeting of chief ministers of non-BJP ruled states who decided to jointly move the Supreme Court to seek postponement of these exams amid the COVID-19 crisis.
While the NEET is scheduled to be held on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE Main is scheduled from September 1-6. Around 9.53 lakh candidates have registered for JEE-Mains and 15.97 lakh students have registered for NEET. The examination dates have already been altered twice due to the ongoing crisis and the subsequent lockdown.
JEE-Main was originally supposed to be held from April 7-11 but got postponed to July 18-23, NEET-UG was originally scheduled for May 3, then was pushed to July 26. They were postponed again and are now scheduled in September.
The letter of support from the academicians came when several political parties and leaders even have asked the Centre to postpone NEET and JEE examinations for the safety of students. Political parties like the DMK and the AAP have raised their voices against the holding the exams at a time when the cases are on a rise.
Showing support for students who are demanding postponement of the exams, Congress leader Rahul Gandhi urged the central government to listen to their grievances and find an amicable solution. "NEET-JEE aspirants are worried about their health and future. They have genuine concerns of fear of Covid19 infection, transport and lodging during pandemic and flood-mayhem in Assam and Bihar," he had said on Twitter.