Clamour grows around postponement of JEE, NEET; Greta Thunberg favours students: Latest developments

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The clamour around postponing the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) has been growing. Many leaders in India have urged the Centre to postpone these exams, as demanded by the students, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik is the latest to write a letter seeking postponement of the above entrance exam. West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu leader MK Stalin have already sought its postponement.

Here are the latest updates on the controversy:

• In a letter to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Tuesday, Patnaik said that due to prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation, it would be highly unsafe and perilous for 50,000 students of the state to visit the test centres physically to appear in these tests.

• Famous climate activist Greta Thunberg has also tweeted in support of the students demanding postponement of JEE and NEET. “It’s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods. I stand with their call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID,” she tweeted on Tuesday.

• Mamata Banerjee had written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday seeking postponement of NEET and JEE examinations that are scheduled to be held in September. Banerjee said she had expressed her views against the UGC guidelines that required completing terminal examinations in universities/colleges across the country by the end of September 2020. “My point was that this decision had a huge potential to put students’ lives at risk,” the chief minister said.

• In his letter to Union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal, DMK president Stalin said that no decision should be made in haste putting the lives of students at stake. “The government should act k

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