MUMBAI: In the ongoing nationwide tug-of-war over the crucial JEE-NEET examinations scheduled for next month, Maharashtra, along with several other states, is firm on postponing it to avoid Covid-19 risks to the students.
Earlier this week, Tourism Minister Aditya Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking his personal intervention to defer the exams in view of the health risks both for students and their families.
Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, at a meeting of non-Bharatiya Janata Party CMs with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi voiced a similar stance along with his counterparts from seven states
Congress leader Rahul Gandhi also took the line that students are worried about transportation and accommodation facilities in view of the pandemic, besides, there are floods in Bihar and Assam.
State Minister and Congress leader Ashok Chavan said that while exams are very important, the health and safety of the students is equally important.
“Since coronavirus has not yet come under control, the demand to postpone the JEE-NEET exams is definitely justified. The Central government and Supreme Court Court must rethink on the issue, ” said Chavan.
Aditya Thackeray, who heads the youth wing Yuva Sena, along with ruling Nationalist Congress Party leaders, have gone a step ahead and demanded that the entire academic year be postponed this year.
They also rooted for starting the next academic session from January 2021, instead of the regular June/July 2020 as an added precaution during the pandemic.
For non-professional courses, most academic assessment has been carried out and the final exams would not amount to more than 10 per cent of the assessment and hence Aditya Thackeray urged passing students based on a marking system devised by the universities.
The Congress has planned nationwide protests in support of its demands, while several student organisations from the state have also sought postponement of the JEE-NEET exams, to be conducted by National Testing Agency (NTA).
Preparing in full swing, the NTA has already asked states to provide facilities to students to enable them reach exam centres in time, besides other requirements for the smooth conduct of the examinations.