On a day ministers from 6 state governments including Maharashtra, Bengal, Punjab and Rajasthan tabled a petition for review finding that the SC failed to consider the safety of students taking the JEE and NEET exams, Naveen Patnaik’s government announced that it would provide free transportation and accommodation to the 37,000 state students who would take the exam.
Chief Secretary Asit Tripathy said if any of the state’s 37,000 candidates taking the exams needed transportation and accommodation, the state government would provide them. “The government will provide buses to take candidates from their hometown to the designated entry points. But students have until August 31 to apply for the state institutions, ”Tripathy said.
The government said the students would have to notify the nearby node centers, and arrangements would be made for their free admission to polytechnic institutes, engineering schools, and ITIs. An ITI has been established in each district as a hub for transportation and accommodation, and students must contact the Node ITIs to register if they need assistance with transportation / accommodation.
While the JEE Mains exams take place between September 1st and 6th, the NEET takes place on September 13th. In Odisha, JEE Mains are held in 26 centers in 7 cities.
The government will also relax restrictions on students and their parents on movement during the exam period.
The Odisha government’s decision came a day after Patnaik spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi and asked for the exams to be postponed. On Thursday, Patnaik spoke to Modi and advocated the postponement, citing the alarming situation in Covid and the flooding in the state, which has hit many districts.
On August 25, Patnaik had written a letter to the union’s education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, suggesting that the exams be postponed.
Odisha’s decision to enter into a logistical arrangement for the NEET and JEE exams came on a day when six opposition-held states filed a petition with the SC requesting a review of an earlier order compliance with the exam dates.
The petition from cabinet ministers from six states – West Bengal, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan – said the SC failed to consider the safety of students taking the JEE and NEET exams and ignored logistical difficulties. The plea in law was that if classes were interrupted across the country, holding such a large-scale test would show “no application of the mind”.