Ending speculations around the postponement of JEE (Mains) and NEET, Union Human Resource Development minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on Friday announced that the entrance exams for engineering and medical UG courses have been postponed till September.
The decision was taken by an expert panel set up by the HRD ministry and the National Testing Agency in view of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pokhriyal tweeted, "Keeping in mind the safety of students and to ensure quality education we have decided to postpone JEE and NEET examinations. JEE Main examination will be held between 1-6 September, JEE advanced exam will be held on 27 Sept and NEET examination will be held on 13 September."
The Union government had asked the NTA to submit recommendations on holding the engineering and medical entrance examination, JEE Mains and NEET by today evening. The NTA had also been asked to keep in view the prevailing COVID-19 situation as well as at requests received from students and parents appearing for JEE and NEET before arriving at a decision.
Pokhriyal had also tweeted earlier, indicating that a final decision will be made today.
Looking at the prevailing circumstances & requests received from students & parents appearing for #JEE & #NEET examinations, a committee consisting of @DG_NTA & other experts has been advised to review the situation & submit its recommendations to @HRDMinistry latest by tomorrow. pic.twitter.com/xByKLUqAIc
" Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) July 2, 2020
JEE Main and NEET exams were previously scheduled to be held on 18-23 July and 26 July, respectively.
With COVID-19 cases still rising in India, to ensure health and safety of the candidates, the HRD Ministry had asked the NTA to make arrangements so that COVID-19 protocols are followed at all centres.
Among other things, the number of exam centers have been doubled so that fewer students are required to sit in a single exam hall, wearing of masks has been made mandatory, a thermal check-up at entry points is also compulsory.
Both ICSE and CBSE board examinations have been cancelled or made optional for students for when the situation stabilises. Students have been flooding Twitter with the "#RipNTA" to bring attention to the two major entrance exams scheduled for July.
As per a report by India Today, Twitter has seen more than three lakhs tweets with the hashtag "#RIPNTA" and demanding answers regarding JEE and NEET.
A plea has been filed in the Supreme Court by the parents of NEET 2020 candidates from the Middle East countries as well, reported Times Now.
As per the report the parents had demanded that new centres be allotted to the students or to postpone the exams for the students from Doha, Qatar, Dubai, UAE and other middle east countries. The PIL states that it would be extremely difficult for candidates to come to India to appear for the exams.