DMK President M K Stalin urged the Union Minister of Education Ramesh Pokhriyal to postpone the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) 2020 in view of the difficulties faced by the students appearing for the examinations.
In a letter to Pokhriyal, Stalin urged that no decision should be made in haste putting the lives of students at stake and said the government should act keeping the well-being and future of students in mind and postpone the exams until COVID-19 was brought under control.
‘Apart from the havoc wreaked by COVID-19, many parts are yet to recover from the recent floods that ravaged people's livelihoods. Students and parents are under enormous mental stress, trying to cope up with the testing times,’ he said.
Stalin said, ‘With the present restrictions on public transport, the allotted exam centres are not uniformly accessible to all and it will not be possible for students belonging to rural areas and less-privileged sections to reach the exam centres. They will be put under a great disadvantage against their affluent counterparts.’
To prove his point he stated that around 35,000 students could not appear for the Higher Secondary Class examination conducted by the Tamil Nadu government on March 24, 2020.
Around 25 lakh students were expected to sit for this year’s NEET and JEE and the National Testing Agency (NTA) had made it mandatory for them to give an undertaking that they were neither COVID-19 positive nor had any symptoms for the same, he said.
‘However, in light of the fact that most of the infected population in India remains asymptomatic, demanding self-declaration from the students does not seem to be effective in any possible way. If those appearing for the exams contract the virus, there are high possibilities of witnessing another wave of infections across the country,’ Stalin warned.