Cabinet ministers from six states, namely, Chattisgarh, Jharkhand, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, and West Bengal, have filed a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking the postponement of the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 exams.
The Cabinet ministers have urged the apex court to review the August 17 judgment on JEE Main and NEET 2020 exams, in which the SC had stated that the engineering and medical entrance exams cannot be postponed. According to the judgment, JEE Main will be held between September 1 and 6 and NEET 2020 will be held on September 13.
The Centre and the Supreme Court have been refusing to postpone the exams despite Opposition parties, activists, and students’ requests, over concerns of jeopardising the students’ careers.
Here are the latest developments:
Youth Congress protests: The Indian Youth Congress led by National President Srinivas BV protested outside the Ministry of Education echoing students' demand to postpone NEET and JEE examinations, which are supposed to be held next month.
Congress leader, workers detained: Delhi Congress leaders and workers, including Delhi the party's Delhi head Anil Kumar, were detained by police for protesting against holding the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Several Congress workers were also detained by the police near the Shastri Bhawan.
Rajasthan, Haryana Congress protests: Rajasthan Congress workers staged a dharna at the Malviya National Institute of Technology in Jaipur, demanding JEE-NEET exams be postponed. In Haryana, Congress leaders and workers staged protests at several locations, including Karnal, Bhiwani, Kaithal, and Sirsa.
Listen to students, says Sonia Gandhi: Congress president Sonia Gandhi urged the Centre to listen to what the students want vis-a-vis the NEET, JEE exams issue. She tweeted: "Students are our future, we depend on them to build a better India, therefore, if any decision has to be taken regarding their future it is important that it is taken with their concurrence."
NSUI activists on hunger strike: Members of the Congress-affiliated National Students Union of India (NSUI) in Bengaluru staged a hunger strike on August 28, demanding that JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 examinations be postponed in view of India’s current COVID-19 situation.
Madhya Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh government support decision to conduct NEET, JEE exams in September: Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath said: "The state government supports holding of NEET and JEE", while Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan said: "NEET and JEE examinations must be conducted on time so that one year of our students doesn't get wasted. It is about their future."
Congress least concerned about future of students, says Gujarat BJP: Gujarat BJP spokesperson Bharat Pandya has said: “The Congress is least concerned about the future of students. The party's main aim is to create anarchy by inciting students. When the Supreme Court has already given its verdict, it is inappropriate on the part of Congress to hold protests. After democracy and the Election Commission, it is now the Supreme Court, which the opposition party has lost trust on," he alleged.
Sonu Sood pledges help and support to students: on Friday tweeted, Bollywood actor Sonu Sood, who has practively been helping people out since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease, tweeted on August 28: "Students appearing for JEE, NEET 2020, I am standing by you. If you are stuck anywhere, let me know your areas of travel. I will help you reach your exam centres. No one should miss their exams because of resources.”
Congress calls for nationwide protests: Congress leader Rahul Gandhi has urged people to speak up for the safety of students and convince the Centre to postpone the NEET 2020 and JEE Main 2020 exams to a later date when the COVID-19 situation in the country improves.
The various state units of the Congress party are supposed to be holding protests on August 28, in front of central government offices at state and district headquarters. The party has also launched a nationwide online campaign, which would involve people sharing videos and posts using the hashtag #SpeakUpForStudentSaftey, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.
Academicians insist NEET, JEE exams cannot be postponed/ diluted: Professors across medical and engineering institutes are of the view that the exams cannot keep postponing. The Deputy Dean of a medical college in Navi Mumbai asked: “How does a student benefit, tell me? Say NEET 2020 is postponed to October or November and virus cases explode. Are students fine with skipping this academic year?”