Odisha Prime Minister Naveen Patnaik, together with Bengali CM Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu Education Minister MK Stalin, called for the postponement of JEE (Main) and NEET today because of Covid-19 fears that it would be unsafe for students to physically visit exam centers to visit.
In a letter to the union’s education minister, Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, on Tuesday, Patnaik said that given the prevailing coronavirus situation in the country, it would be highly unsafe and dangerous for 50,000 students in the state to physically visit the exam centers to take these tests .
“In addition, due to the sudden escalation of the COVID-positive case on site, the affected district administrations are enforcing frequent closures / shutdowns, and local transport is also disrupted,” he wrote. The JEE (Main) and NEET exams are scheduled to take place in September.
On Tuesday, Odisha reported 2,752 new Covid-19 cases from all 30 districts, bringing the total to 84,231.
Patnaik also said that since Odisha has huge tribal pockets with geographically inaccessible areas that are far from the state’s urban centers, students would have to travel long distances. The Prime Minister of Odisha suggested opening exam centers in all 30 districts of Odisha instead of just 7. In June, Patnaik asked Modi to postpone JEE, NEET until the higher secondary exams in the state were finished.
Previously, West Bengal’s chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Tamil Nadu’s minister of education M K Stalin had asked the center to postpone the selection exams until the spread of Covid-19 was brought under control. Maharashtra Minister Aaditya Thackeray, Congress Director Rahul Gandhi and BJP Chairman Subramaniam Swamy also called for the examination to be postponed.
On Sunday, over 4,000 students went to Twitter to request that the exam be postponed. They also watched a day-long hunger strike to press for demand.
The Supreme Court last week rejected petitions against holding the exams as part of the Covid pandemic.