Activist Greta Thunberg attends a press conference where 16 children from across the world, present their official human rights complaint on the climate crisis to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at the UNICEF Building in New York City.
Activist Greta Thunberg attends a press conference where 16 children from across the world, present their official human rights complaint on the climate crisis to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child at the UNICEF Building in New York City.
Photo: AFP

Well known climate change activist Greta Thunberg on Tuesday waded into the ongoing debate over exams being held amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"t’s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods. I stand with their call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID," Thunberg tweeted on Tuesday evening.

But what exactly is the NEET-JEE debate?

Despite protests urging otherwise, the Centre has decided to go ahead with the NEET and JEE examinations. While some say that the COVID-19 pandemic poses a massive threat to the students who would have to travel to the centres and appear for the exams, others cite the lack of facilities amid the partial lockdown. Additionally, other argue that floods and related natural calamities in various parts of the country have made travel a difficult and dangerous prospect.

Coming back to the present, while some were pleased with their unexpected ally, others opined that it was not Thunberg's place to comment on the same. Some also questioned the credibility of her comments.

"When a @GretaThunberg starts commenting on India's #JEENEET examinations, one is forced to question the real agenda behind it all. Make no mistake, yet again, students are being used as pawns to score political brownie points!! #RentAnActivist," tweeted BJP leader Priti Gandhi.

In another tweet Gandhi noted that in light of the pandemic students had been given an opportunity to change their exam centre five times.

"You are well within your rights to demand a postponement of #JEENEET but final decision is taken by govt after keeping all aspects in mind. Let the matter not become political with opportunists jumping in to settle their personal scores," she added.

Incidentally, Thunberg has become something of a COVID-19 expect in recent months. In May, news media outlet CNN had even featured her alongside medical experts for a panel discussion on the virus.

And just as Twitter had gasped in collective surprise at the time, many are now wondering why Thunberg had taken up the issue. While some saw it as a "nefarious political agenda" others opined that someone who was yet to receive her high school diploma should perhaps not be commenting on the same. Incidentally, Greta has recently gone back to school after a gap year.

Take a look at some of the posts:

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