NEET, JEE Row LIVE Updates: The National Testing Agency (NTA)’s decision to go ahead with the NEET and JE exams has caused a massive upheaval with students across the country planning a protest from their homes tomorrow, demanding postponement or cancellation of exams given the alarming rise in coronavirus cases. From 8am, students across India eligible for the exams are set to “raise Black Flags from homes, tie black bands on arm or forehead, wear black mask, turn their profile pictures BLACK!” to protest against the decision. Several opposition leaders as well as state government have also asked the Centre to do a rethink on the exams as the Covid-19 cases continue to surge. Congress interim chief Sonia Gandhi and West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee have convened a meeting of opposition chief ministers on Wednesday afternoon to discuss the issue of holding NEET and JEE Main examination next month amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Banerjee on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Centre should appeal against the Supreme Court order for holding the JEE and NEET examinations during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the aspirants are free from “mental agony”. She wrote to Modi after the state government received a letter from the National Testing Agency to conduct the JEE/NEET examinations starting from September 1. “I am aware that the Hon’ble Supreme Court has given a verdict on holding JEE/NEET examinations and the central government has been issuing instructions to go ahead with it accordingly. However, I would like to request for your kind intervention and to consider the central government making an appeal to the Hon’ble apex court to review its decision in the interest of the student community, so that they are free from mental agony and mental disaster,” Banerjee wrote in the letter. “Such intervention is very much essential in the larger interest of the students to facilitate creating a situation whereby the students will neither be subjected to grave health risk nor they will be facing a career risk,” she wrote. “We are really worried and concerned.”
‘Satyagrah Against Exam in Covid’ |According to the leftist All India Students Association (AISA), over 4,200 students observed the day-long hunger strike at their respective home demanding that CBSE compartment exams of Classes 10 and 12 be cancelled and entrance exams such as the UGC-NET, CLAT, NEET and JEE be postponed. Using the hashtag, SATYAGRAHagainstExamInCovid, many students also took to Twitter to appeal to the government to heed to their demands.
Chorus for Postponing NEET, JEE Grows |The chorus for postponing various examinations, including NEET and JEE, grew louder on Sunday with over 4,000 students observing a day-long hunger strike to press for the demand in view of rising COVID-19 cases.
Tamil Nadu Sees Drop in Students’ Enrolment for NEET 2020 |The enrollment of candidates for the National-Eligibility-Cum-Entrance Test (UG) from Tamil Nadu this year has seen a significant drop. The state-wise distribution of candidates and centres shared by the National Testing Agency (NTA) on Tuesday shows there were 1,34,714 candidates in 188 centres last year whereas there are 1,17,990 candidates in 238 centres this year.Read more here.
Aaditya Thackeray Writes to PM Modi on Exams |Maharashtra cabinet minister Aaditya Thackeray on Monday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking postponement of university-level examinations as well as those of professional courses in view of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aaditya Thackeray, son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, himself tweeted the letter written on letter head of his party Shiv Sena, which heads the MVA government in the state.Read more here.
Meanwhile, Students Continue Online Protest Against Exams |Students continue to demand the postponement of NEET, JEE exams on microblogging site Twitter, with ‘#PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID’ and ‘#AntiStudentModiGovt’ and #HungerStrikeforStudentsSafety’ tags trending.
— Ashutosh Sharma (@Ashutos22886153)August 26, 2020
Subramanian Swamy Wants NEET, JEE Postponed | Rajya Sabha member and BJP National Executive member Subramanian Swamy said today – “Does government realise holding NEET /JEE exams at this juncture favours the children of rich parents in major cities? In the last 5 months the poor and lower middle class children have had no access to internet or ability to go to libraries or collective study. PM can empathise!”
Does government realise holding NEET /JEE exams at this juncture favours the children of rich parents in major cities? In the last 5 months the poor and lower middle class children have had no access to internet or ability to go to libraries or collective study. PM can empathise!
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39)August 25, 2020
Greta Thunberg Calls Exams ‘Unfair’ |“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,” environmental activist Greta Thunberg tweeted.
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
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg)August 25, 2020
Young Climate Activist Calls for Postponement | Licypriya Kangujam, a child environmental Indian activist, called for the postponement of NEET, JEE Exams amid Covid-19.
I have some hope on this. If the 7 CMs of all these big states of India tell the Government that WE CAN’T HOLD EXAMS IN COVID” then game over.
— Licypriya Kangujam (@LicypriyaK)August 26, 2020
Dhananjay Munde on JEE/NEET Exams |“Conducting examinations of JEE/NEET in this covid-19 pandemic in highly uncertain situation is playing with physical and mental health of students. I urge the central government to cancel the decision of conducting this entrance examinations now. #AntiStudentModigovt,” said Maharashtra Cabinet Minister Dhananjay Munde.
Conducting examinations of JEE/NEET in this covid19 pandemic in highly uncertain situation is playing with physical and mental health of students.
I urge the central government to cancel the decision of conducting this entrance examinations now.#AntiStudentModigovt
— Dhananjay Munde (@dhananjay_munde)August 26, 2020
National Testing Agency Increases Centres |Meanwhile, the National Testing Agency has increased number of examination centres, from 570 to 660 (JEE Main) and from 3843 from 2,546 (for NEET).
Students to Observe ‘Black Protest’ Tomorrow | Students across the country will observe black protest from their homes tomorrow. “Rise_AgainstExamsInCovid
on Thursday, 27th August , 8 am Onwards. Raise Black Flags from homes, tie black bands on arm or forehead, wear black mask, turn their profile pictures BLACK!,” the protest message read.
SC Dismissed Plea on Postponement of Exams |The Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking the postponement of JEE (Main) April and NEET despite the pandemic showing no signs of ebbing, saying precious year of students “cannot be wasted” and “life has to go on”.