There are other non-BJP states that have not resisted conducting the exams, and these have a relatively higher number of JEE and NEET aspirants than the litigants other than Maharashtra.
These non-BJP states include Andhra Pradesh, Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Kerala. Some of these regions are also seeing a boost in Covid cases.
This makes the state stand out as the only one in the upper reaches of the candidate count that opposes the two selection tests.
Rajasthan and West Bengal, which also oppose the Tests, have less than half of the state candidates for the JEE, while Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh and Punjab, the other fellow petitioners, have less than a quarter.
The same proportion applies to NEET, which is taken over by 2,3-lakh aspirants from the state alone, the highest in the country.
JEE (Main) is from Tuesday September 1st to Sunday September 6th. The best 2.2 lakh students who qualify for JEE (Main) are eligible for JEE (Advanced) for IIT entry.
Although Covid continues to be a problem in the state, a portion of parents say further delays in these selection exams will adversely affect students preparing for more than two years. Sudha Shenoy, a parent representative, said there are students who have chosen to take a gap year to improve their JEE and NEET scores. For them, these delays are a nightmare, Shenoy said.
PACE Group chairman Praveen Tyagi said the exam matter shouldn’t be made political now as not many aspirants are interested in losing a year. “Instead, all governments should do their best to ensure that students reach their centers in time to take the exam. They should also ensure the safety of students by following appropriate disinfection methods and social distancing standards,” Tyagi said.
An IIT director said there was great uncertainty about the increase in Covid-19 cases. “Are we sure the cases will fall a month later? We can’t have two batches doing the test together next year. The number of seats will be the same,” the director said.
He said the states that oppose the exams would show up at some point as most students wanted to take the exams there at the earliest.
Abhay Karandikar, director of IIT-Kanpur, said the agencies that run the exams have taken extensive precautions to ensure student safety and the exam centers have been increased. “It is not advisable to postpone the exams now as it will only cause difficulties and emotional distress for the students,” he said.