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SC order on NEET-JEE fails to secure safety, right to life of students — 6 ministers’ plea

Six ministers from opposition-ruled states file review petition against Supreme Court's 17 August order allowing NEET, JEE exam to be held next month. 

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New Delhi: Six ministers from opposition-ruled states Friday filed a review petition in the Supreme Court challenging its 17 August order rejecting petitions to postpone NEET-JEE exams in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. The exams are scheduled to be conducted in September.

Dismissing the petitions, the Supreme Court had said that the career of students “cannot be put under jeopardy for long”.

“Life has to go on. Life has to move ahead. Precious year of students cannot be wasted,” the court had then observed.

According to the public notices issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA), JEE (Main) April 2020 is scheduled from 1 to 6 September, while NEET UG 2020 exam is scheduled for 13 September.

The review petition was filed by West Bengal Labour and Law Minister Moloy Ghatak, Jharkhand Finance Minister Dr Rameshwar Oraon, Rajasthan Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr Raghu Sharma, Chhattisgarh’s Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat, Punjab Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu, and Maharashtra Education Minister Uday R. Samant.


Also read: No plans to postpone JEE, NEET, but final decision lies with education ministry, says MHA


‘Increase in Covid cases undisputed fact’

It asserted that the Supreme Court’s decision “fails to secure the safety, security and right to life of students-candidates appearing for the NEET/JEE exams”.

The petition submitted that “the advice of ‘Life Must Go On’ may have very sound philosophical underpinnings but cannot be a substitute for valid legal reasoning and logical analysis of the various aspects involved in the conduct of the NEET UG and JEE exams”.

It criticised the Supreme Court judgment for lacking “an authoritative and comprehensive judicial scrutiny” of the issues involved.

The petition also argued that the judgment “ignored the teething logistical difficulties in conducting the examinations at the proposed dates”.

It, however, clarified that the petitioners “do not wish to make any value Judgment or Political criticism of the Union Government in such times”.

“… but the undisputed facts are that there has been an exponential increase in both the COVID-19 positive cases as well as the deaths/mortality arising out of COVID-19 from April 2020, when these exams were originally scheduled till August 2020, when the Union Government decided to conduct the said examinations,” the petition stated.


Also read: Speak up for students, says Rahul Gandhi as Congress protests against holding of NEET, JEE


‘SC decision arbitrary, capricious exercise of power’

The petition pointed out that the JEE Mains exam is slated to be conducted at over 660 exam centres, with 9.53 lakh students expected to appear for it. This means there will roughly be 1,443 students per centre, the states noted.

Similarly, 15.97 lakh students are expected to take the NEET UG exam, across 3,843 centres across the country. “Hence we will have approx 415 students per exam centre,” the petition further said.

The ministers, therefore, contended: “Such large movement of people will ipso facto prove to be a serious health hazard and will totally defeat the twin present-day solutions we have of combating the COVID-19 pandemic i.e. social distancing and avoidance of large public gatherings.”

These facts, they said, should be enough to postpone the exams.

The petition also called the decision “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious exercise of power”, and also pointed out the lack of mandatory safeguards for the conduct of the exams.

The review petition, therefore, submitted that if the Supreme Court’s 17 August judgment is not reviewed, “then grave and irreparable harm and injury would befall on the student community of our country and not only will the health, welfare and safety of the students/candidates appearing for the NEET/JEE examinations would stand imperilled but also the public health at large would be in severe jeopardy in these COVID-19 pandemic times”.


Also read: Why students want NEET & JEE postponed again — health problems, Covid-hit preparations


 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Our lives are much more important than our future we can make our future will our abilities ,but we can let our lives in risks is someone doesn’t get affected most of us can be the carriers by not doing the postponed they are risking our lives ,our families life and many more who are related to us in our day to day life . Life is much more important if one has the capability they can make their future secure but if someone dies what’s the meaning of this exam then . I m also a student ,I m a dropper too for 2 hrs but I also want that govt postpones this why because it’s for everyone life

  2. Why dynasts and certain anti-Modi politicians think youth of India are to sit in their homes and enjoy watching their antics on TV s news shows broadcasts in 24×7 format ?? For most of them , THEIR CAREER IS MORE IMPORTANT than antics of a class of politicians . They are very much ready to face problems of life head-on . “Life Goes on ” is mantra which even Honorable Supreme Court has seconded. it is requested to politician,, — Please leave politics aside and heed the advise./ order of the Supreme Court .

    • “Life must go on” sounds very good. But 93% students want it to be postponed till November. We can handle the 1st year syllabus within 6 month as said by the IITs. No year will be wasted. I scored 96 percentile in January attempt and yes I want it to be postponed.

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