Bhopal: Union Education Ministry announced that the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET-UG) will be conducted in September as scheduled. More than 4,200 students across the country took part in a day-long hunger strike in Delhi and started a twitter campaign #SATYAGRAHagainstExamInCovid demanding to postpone the exams.
Most of the students in the city want entrance examinations like UGC-NET, CLAT, NEET and JEE to be held with full safety and as per all the guidelines of COVID. They say that they don’t want to waste their one year due to COVID-19. Some of them, however are riding two boats. For them, safety and career both are important and they are ready to go by the decision taken by the government.
Kriti Khanna, a NET aspirant said the examinations should be held as soon as possible with safety measures. Zero academic year is okay for the students who are passing out this year but what about those who have been preparing for the exams for many years, said she. "If offices are working with 50% attendance why exams cannot be held? We have to learn to live with corona. So, let us behave like rational human beings and accept the challenge,” said Kriti.
On being asked will she be comfortable writing the exams wearing masks, gloves and headgear, she said if soldiers can guard the country in sub-zero temperatures then why can’t the students take exams? It is all about mindset.
Swayam Malviya, a NEET aspirant said that the daily routine of most of the students has been disturbed and they are stressed due to delay in exams. They want the exams should be held as soon as possible. On the other hand, the students of the states where the COVID situation is grim may have problems taking the exams. The government should find out a way for such students, he said. “The exam period should be extended but exams should not be postponed or cancelled,” he said.
A JEE aspirant Ayush Gupta said he has no problem in taking the exam because it is already late and he doesn’t want to wait for another year. But at the same time, he said, there might be transportation problems for students who live in remote areas and have no personal vehicles.
Saumil Seth, a NEET aspirant said on the one hand if the exams are postponed, they will have to wait for a year. On the other hand, there is fear of COVID infection also. “I don’t know what to do. But I will go by whatever decision is taken by the government,” he said.
Babita Agrawal, a professor says, "We can understand the concerns of those demanding postponement of examinations but personally I would like my son to get admitted to an institution. Protection from COVID is important but so is career. Almost 80% of students admitted to IITs are those who have taken a drop. If the current year is declared as ‘zero year’ then the upper age limit for all admission and recruitment examinations should be raised by one year."