JEE, NEET to go ahead as planned, Supreme Court dismisses petition for postponement
The Supreme Court heard a petition called for NEET and JEE to be canceled due to the rising number of Covid-19 cases in the country. But the petition was dismissed and both the competitive exams held by the National Testing Agency (NTA) are set to go ahead as per the dates set.
After the postponement of the exams twice, both the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) are scheduled to be held in September 2020, but many students were asking for a further deferment.
While NEET will be held on September 13, JEE will be held from September 1 to 6.
Apart from the postponement of exams in line with the CBSE, ICSE, and CA exams, the 11 student petitioners also asked for at least one exam center in each district, thus increasing the number of exam centers even more.
What did the petition say?
Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava appeared for the petitioners seeking a postponement, while Solicitor General Tushar Mehta appeared for NTA and assured that all safeguards would be taken for the exams.
“Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including Petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death,” the petition seeking a further postponement of NEET and JEE said.
It added that the decision of NTA to hold the competitive exams in September was "utterly arbitrary, whimsical and violative of the fundamental right to life of lakhs of the affected students as enshrined within Article 21 of the Constitution of India and thus liable to quashed and set aside on this ground alone."
The court noted that the career of students couldn’t be put in jeopardy for too long since these two exams are highly important for future engineers and doctors.
"Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long,” it said.
However, the Supreme Court is ensuring that full precautions are taking place for conducting these entrance exams that will be taken by a vast number of students.
Over 16 lakh students registered for NEET while 9 lakh students are set to appear for JEE. NTA has almost doubled the number of entrance exams to make sure students stay safe during the pandemic.
The SC also heard a second petition today filed by the parents of four students who want the exams to go ahead in September as notified in the second revised schedule. This was dismissed as SC said the grievances didn’t exist anymore.