West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has now lent her voice to the growing call for postponement of the JEE and NEET examinations. Mamata wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the issue on Monday while also tweeting out her concerns on social media.
The West Bengal Chief Minister also cited a letter written on the 11th of July on the UGC terminal examinations which is to be completed by the end of September 2020. “Now in continuation of my earlier letter, I would like to mention that the Education Ministry of the Government of India has since issued a further directive to conduct NEET and JEE examinations in September 2020, which again is a gravely risky decision,” wrote Mamata.
She goes on to mention that while the student community was talented, it was also suffering from mental agony and depression in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I would therefore appeal to you to kindly get the enormous health risk involved in such steps assessed. The Central Government must not take a decision for which the students feel upset and also ensure that students are not deprived of the opportunity to take examinations. I am sure you will appreciate the point and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again,” appeals the Chief Minister in her letter. Her concern was also voiced in a similar tweet.
Mamata is not the only politician from West Bengal to raise her voice for the student community. On Sunday, Congress leader of Opposition in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury wrote to PM Modi.
“The aspirants of the national examination are under tremendous mental pressure as to how they could remain immune to the infection while attending the attending the examination physically. Right during this pandemic situation, their concerns should be given due consideration,” Chowdhury writes, adding that the examinations should be postponed.
While politicians from various parties across the country expressed their concerns about the examinations which are less than a month away, students are wondering how they will travel to their examination centres which are, in many cases, miles away. Transport options are limited amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdown in various parts of the country. Not to forget, there is also the risk of contacting the virus.
The Supreme Court had dismissed a plea for postponement of JEE Main and NEET 2020 examinations and allowed the National Testing Agency to go ahead and conduct the examinations in September as planned.