JEE Main, NEET: Modi under pressure to postpone exams

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is reportedly under pressure to postpone JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020, scheduled in September, following outrage of students and parents across the country after Supreme Court refused to postpone the exams as sought by students and parents.

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava, an on-record lawyer in Supreme Court, who had been arguing the case for students, has written to PM Modi and UMHRD minister Ramesh Pokhriyal seeking postponement of the exams amid spurt in number of corona cases across the country.

He has also sought an increase in the number of examination centres.

JEE (Main) April 2020 is scheduled from September 1-6 while NEET UG 2020 exam is scheduled for September 13. 

Advocate Srivastava has also decided to submit a letter in this regard to the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) today. He also hinted at approaching the apex court next week again.

Demands made by Advocate Srivastava in his letter written to PM Modi:

  • Kindly postpone the upcoming NEET-UG and JEE (Main) in view of the alarming spurt of COVID-19 pandemic, from September 2020, till the time normalcy is restored, post COVID-19 crisis. 

  • Kindly increase NEET JEE Examination centres so that every district of India has at least one NEET JEE examination centre. 

  • Or alternatively, if the NEE JEE exams are conducted on the scheduled dates only, then kindly subsequently provide an opportunity of "Special NEET JEE exams 2020" to those aspirants who might not be able to appear in NEET JEE in September, 2020, due to COVID-19.

Advocate Srivastava sought postponement on these Grounds

  • The NEET JEE aspirants are young students of about 16-18 years of age, who have just passed their Class-XII exam. About a total of 26 lakh such students of tender age are likely to appear in NEET, JEE Exams in September, 2020. Considering their tender age, their parents are also likely to accompany them to the exam centres and thus there is a strong likelihood of alarming spurt of COVID-19 cases pursuant to to such large scale gatherings at NEET, JEE exam centres in September. 

  • Considering that COVID-19 has been found to be airborne and it may be asymptomatic, there is another strong likelihood that many of the aspirants may firstly get infected at the NEET JEE Exam centres and later on may infect their old aged grandparents, young siblings and other family members at their homes, which may lead to a huge disaster. 

  • There are many NEET and JEE aspirants who are living in flood/landslide/rain affected areas of the country and are facing acute humanitarian crisis due to double whammy -- floods and coronavirus. 

  • There are many NEET, JEE aspirants who are living in containment zones or in the areas where local lockdown is still enforced curtailing free movement and for such aspirants, it would be difficult to even reach the exam centres. 

  • There are many NEET, JEE aspirants whose exam centres are 1000 kms apart from their present place of residence and they would be unable to travel due to restricted rail/air/road/travel and COVID-19. They may be deprived from the lifetime opportunity of NEET-JEE.