New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI) Top Congress leaders, including Rahul Gandhi, on Sunday requested the government to defer the all-India medical and engineering entrance examinations taking into consideration the concerns raised by a section of students and parents amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Rahul Gandhi said the government must listen to the 'mann ki baat' of students and arrive at 'an acceptable solution', while party general secretary Priyanka Gandhi Vadra sought the postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) till the coronavirus situation improves in the country.
Congress leader in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi suggesting that the exams be deferred, while Kapil Sibal said these needed to be postponed.
'GOI must listen to the #StudentsKeMannKiBaat about NEET, JEE exams and arrive at an acceptable solution,' Rahul Gandhi tweeted.
In a tweet in Hindi, Priyanka Gandhi said, 'The COVID-19 situation in the country is yet to normalise. In such a situation, if students who are taking NEET and JEE, and their parents have raised concerns, then these should be taken into consideration by the government and those conducting these exams.' Chowdhury requested PM Modi to intervene and postpone the exams.
'The aspirants of national examination are under tremendous mental pressure as to how they could be remain immune to the infection while attending the examination physically. Right at this pandemic situation their concerns should be given due consideration. The spectre of corona will be haunting the students during the examination period stretching from September 1 to 6,' he said in his letter.
Chowdhury said when the country is witnessing a spike of COVID-19 infection with single-day rise of 70,000 cases, 'I think it is absolutely necessary to review the date of exam because approximately 25 lakh students are supposed to participate in the exam, hence I thought it prudent to knock the door of wisdom of Prime Minister of India.' 'Your sagacious intervention may bring about the relief of those anxious aspirants. My suggestion to you Prime Minister is that the examination could be deferred for a certain period till the situation is stable,' he said.
Former HRD Minister Kapil Sibal also tweeted, 'Stop this injustice. NEET-JEE Entrance Exams. Elitist approach. The poor discriminated. Digital divide. Jeopardising lives. Reaching exam sites hazardous. Poor connectivity and more. Only just , fair and sensible solution is to postpone: NEET, JEE.' The Supreme Court on Monday had dismissed a plea seeking postponement of JEE (Main) April 2020 and NEET-Undergraduate examinations, which are scheduled to be conducted in September, amid spurt in number of COVID-19 cases, saying precious year of students 'cannot be wasted' and life has to go on.
The JEE (Main) is scheduled to be held between September 1 and 6, while the JEE (Advanced) on September 27. The NEET will be held on September 13.
On Friday, Education Ministry officials had said the JEE (Main) and the NEET-UG will be conducted in September as scheduled.
JEE is for admission into premier engineering colleges, while NEET for undergraduate medical courses. PTI SKC ASK SMN SMN