As is the case of any issue, Rahul Gandhi’s stance on holding exams for JEE and NEET is to oppose the government. If the authority decided to postpone the exams further, he might have appeared on video to describe how it will impact the prospective of the students. He is the same person who demanded for lifting the lockdown when it was in force and spoke against the unlocking the moment government decided to lift the lockdown.
So, there is not much in Rahul Gandhi’s claims on JEE/NEET exams to examine. However, here is an opportunity to look at the circumstances which prevents from further postponement of exams.
The Pressure Postponement Creates
Nearly 20 lakh students take the NEET and the JEE. If the exam is dragged further, next year there would be twice the number of students for the same number of seats. The same pressure will be forced on teaching faculty in campuses and later, a single year will be burdened with finding jobs for all these graduates at once.
The Expert Opinion
Even in normal conditions you may find students who want a delay in exam since they feel they are not prepared. But that can’t be the excuse for throwing the prepared students into a circle of uncertainty. So, it is better to hear experts in education sector on this aspect.
Over 150 academicians from various universities in India and abroad have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, requesting him to refrain from delaying the JEE (Main) and NEET any further as it will compromise the students’ future.
The opinion among experts seems to be this: Since the nation is already in the various phases of unlock and nobody has a definitive answer as to when the pandemic will end, further postponement of JEE/NEET holds no merit.
Vice Chancellor of JNU, M. Jagadeesh Kumar writing in The Times of India has put forward these points, for instance:
“Any further delay in conducting these exams will lead to loss of one complete academic year for the students. It can upset their future plans and employment opportunities. The fact that more than 86% of candidates have already downloaded their admit cards for the exam clearly shows that they are inspired to sit in the exam. Those clamouring for exam postponement are aggravating the woes of the students who, despite all odds during the pandemic, have been most resolute to study relentlessly for the progress of their self, society and the nation.”
— Hindustan Times (@htTweets) August 27, 2020
Recent Rulings of Supreme Court – What Do They indicate?
Instance 1: The Supreme Court said that states and universities cannot promote students without holding final year exams. The court, however, added that they can approach UGC to seek an extension of deadline for holding exams.
Instance 2: The Supreme Court refused to entertain a petition seeking postponement of the Bihar Assembly elections due to the coronavirus pandemic.
All these indicate that the nation is no longer in a stage to afford postponements of any major scheduled affairs.
This brings us to another question – is it feasible to hold exams during the pandemic? Of course, it can be, says the Karnataka model.
Exams – Karnataka Serves a Reference
There is an example of Karnataka successfully conducting class 10 and CET exams back in July.
Most of the activities including travel and economic activities have resumed to a greater extent. As such, there is no concrete reason why JEE/NEET exams should be an exception and be postponed further since they got postponed twice already.
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