Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged the Centre to postpone the NEET and JEE exams scheduled to be held in the first fortnight of September.
In a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the Chief Minister urged the cancellation of the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (NEET) in view of the Covid-19 pandemic and also direct the National Testing Agency (NTA) to open exam centres in all 30 districts of the state.
"In view of the prevailing pandemic conditions in the country, it will be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to physically visit the test centres to appear in these tests," Patnaik said.
"Besides, as frequent lockdowns/shutdowns are enforced by district administrations concerned due to sudden spike in corona case in certain areas, transportation too gets disrupted," he added.
More than 50,000 students from Odisha are appearing in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year. However, the NTA has opened examination centres in only seven townships of the state.
The Chief Minister also said that Odisha has got vast tribal pockets which are in virtually inaccessible areas, far away from the urban centres in the state.
Students of such areas may be deprived of the opportunity to sit for these exams, as they will have to travel long distances to the exam centres, he added.
The NTA is scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) and NEET 2020 for admissions to technical and medical courses from September 1-6 and on September 13 respectively.