Over 17 lakh JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 admit cards have been downloaded so far, even as many across the country continue to demand that the exams be postponed. While 9,94,198 students downloaded their NEET admit cards, 7,49,408 JEE Main admit cards were downloaded, as per official data cited by News18.Here are the latest developments:
> Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal on August 27 told news agency ANI that JEE exam centres have been increased to 660 from 570 while there are 3,842 NEET centres now, up from 2,546 earlier, for the convenience of students. He added that students have also been allotted exam centres of their choice.
> All the 40 NEET (UG) 2020 exam centres in the Bharatiya Janata Party-ruled state of Haryana are reportedly located in the worst COVID-hit cities of Gurugram and Faridabad.
> Over 150 academicians from various universities across India and around the world have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, suggesting that any further delay in conducting the JEE Main 2020 and NEET 2020 will mean compromising students' future.
> Slamming the Centre in an open letter on August 27, Samajwadi Party president Akhilesh Yadav opposed the centre's decision to hold NEET and JEE exams amid the pandemic. He said the BJP-led government is unnecessarily putting the students' health at risk.
> Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank said in an interview that further changes in the JEE 2020 and NEET 2020 examination dates could lead to a zero academic year, causing tremendous loss to students. The education minister also said that there was no certainty about when the pandemic would be over. Hence, he said that the solution was to move on with precautions.
> The sentiment was echoed by Jawaharlal Nehru University Vice-Chancellor M Jagadesh Kumar, who spoke in favour of the conduct of the examination as per the current schedule to avoid students having to deal with a zero academic year in their careers.
> Chief ministers of seven non-Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-ruled states are looking to jointly move the Supreme Court on the issue. At a meeting convened by Congress chief Sonia Gandhi on a range of issues ahead of Monsoon Session of Parliament, the seven chief ministers unanimously agreed to the need for filing a review petition urging the Supreme Court to reconsider its recent order rejecting the postponement of the competitive exams.
> Meanwhile, parties like the DMK and the AAP too joined the growing chorus against the holding of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) at a time when COVID-19 cases were rising. Delhi Deputy CM Manish Sisodia had on August 22 urged the Centre to cancel both the exams immediately and look for an alternative arrangement for admissions to the courses this year.
> The National Testing Agency (NTA) is planning an odd-even scheme of seating for the upcoming JEE Main 2020 exam and NEET UG 2020 exam, scheduled to be conducted in September.
> Among those who have joined the chorus opposing the exams and demanding a postponement are famous environmental activist Greta Thunberg and actor Sonu Sood. On August 25, Thunberg had spoken against the upcoming NEET, JEE exams to be held in India amid the prevailing COVID-19 situation. Sood, who gained much popularity for his contribution during the COVID-19 crisis and the nationwide lockdown, also requested the government to postpone the exams.