The Supreme Court on Monday rejected the plea for deferment or cancellation of medical and engineering entrance examinations, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and therefore the Joint entrance exam (JEE), scheduled to be held in September.
Eleven students belonging to 11 different states had sought cancellation of the general public notices dated 3 July 2020 issued by the National Testing Agency (NTA) scheduling the examination of JEE (Main) April-2020 between 1 September and 6 September 2020 and NEET UG-2020 on 13 September 2020. The petitioners contended that there’s an alarming spurt of covid-19 cases in India and sought directions for the NTA to conduct the JEE (Main) April-2020 and NEET UG-2020 only after normalcy is restored, after the covid-19 crisis is over.
The petitioners had also said NTA has ignored the plight of lakhs of scholars of Bihar, Assam and therefore the north-eastern states, which are witnessing incessant floods and thus conducting online or offline examinations in such places, isn’t possible.
Solicitor general Tushar Mehta, representing NTA, assured the court that each one precautions are going to be taken in sight of the covid-19 pandemic.
The apex court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra said the “career of scholars can’t be anesthetize jeopardy for long”. “Life can’t be stopped. we’ve to maneuver ahead with all safeguards…. Education should be opened . Covid may continue for a year more. Are you getting to wait another year? does one know what’s the loss to the country and peril to the students?” Justice Mishra asked. On the reassurance given by NTA, the court observed that the exams must continue with all protections in situ .
The petition filed through advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava had alleged that the respondents have arbitrarily overlooked that the majority of the oldsters of the affected students face utmost financial distress amid covid-19 crisis. In such a situation, further burdening them with the value of transportation, accommodation and medical treatment of their wards, for appearing within the captioned examination, is utterly unjust, unfair and unwarranted.
They had also sought directions to extend the amount of examination centres for JEE (Main) April -2020 and NEET UG-2020 and to supply a minimum of one examination centre in every district of India.
Responding to the court’s decision, Saurya Bhattacharya, partner at firm Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, said: “The decision by the SC comes at a time when the societal discourse appears to be carrying on with important activities, albeit with precautions… Sufficient infrastructure and support to conduct the exams during this spirit are going to be something which will require close attention from the govt , as students and accompanying guardians who need to visit test centres would be handling fear and uncertainties in reference to connectivity and safety, compounding the expected exam pressures.”
“It are going to be interesting to ascertain how the apex court treats the cases concerning CBSE compartment examination also as UGC exams after today’s outcome,” he added