Put JEE, NEET on hold, DMK chief Stalin urges Centre

The Joint Entrance Examination and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test should be postponed until the spread of COVID-19 was brought under control, DMK President M K Stalin on Monday urged Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.

Besides COVID-19, which has wreaked havoc on the nation, many parts of the country were yet to recover from the recent floods that have ravaged people’s livelihoods, he said in a letter to Pokhriyal.

Students and parents are under enormous mental stress, he said, adding that considering the current restrictions on public transportation, the allotted exam centres are not uniformly accessible to all aspirants.

“It will not be possible for students belonging to rural areas and less-privileged sections to reach the exam centres.

They will be put under a great disadvantage against their affluent counterparts.” While around 25 lakh students are expected to sit for this years NEET and JEE, the National Testing Agency has made it mandatory for the students to give an undertaking that they “are neither COVID-19 positive nor have any symptoms for the same.” However, in light of the fact that most of the infected population in India remains asymptomatic, demanding self declaration from thestudents does not seem to be effective in any possible way, the Dravidian party chief argued.

If those appearing for the exams contracted the virus, there are “highpossibilities of another wave of infections” across the country.

“No decision shall be made in haste putting the lives of students at stake.

The government shall act, keeping the well-being and future of students in mind.

In the light of the severe difficulties, I sincerely request you to postpone the JEE, NEET exams until COVID-19 is brought under control,” he urged.

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