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Thursday, October 29, 2020

National Testing Agency Urged To Postpone High Stakes Tests Due To Pandemic

After a student committed suicide from stress about the upcoming NEET, legislative officials urged immediately cancellation of examinations

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Niloy Chattaraj
Niloy Chattaraj
BE (Double Gold Medalist). Postgraduate Diploma in Cosmology from CalTech. MA in Indian History. Hawking admitted his mistakes pointed out by my research paper.

INDIA, New Delhi. While National Testing Agency (NTA) has decided to conduct Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) examinations in September, the current pandemic is creating panic among the students and parents. They are in a dilemma about whether to send students for examinations and face the risks of COVID-19 or not appear and lose one year.

The Supreme Court dismissed a 16 August plea seeking the postponement of JEE Main 2020 and NEET undergraduate examinations. More than 2.6 million students are planning to appear for both examinations, putting one another at great risk if any of the social distancing norms fail.

Common testing locations risk spreading virus

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Increasing cases of COVID-19 are making parents reluctant to allow their children to sit for the exam. JEE Main exam is online and hence the use of computers is necessary.

With two batches and so many students, sanitization of keyboards is not feasible. Hundreds of people will flock around one centre. They will be in a greater risk of contracting and/or spreading coronavirus.

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One parent talking to Transcontinental Times said, “Imagine the spreading of COVID-19 if these exams are held. It would be absolute chaos around India.” The undergraduate NEET, a pen and paper-based test, increases chances of viral spread even more so.

Combined with the COVID-19 risks, the monsoon is wreaking havoc in South India. Conducting these examinations are now becoming more difficult. Candidates who are coming from remote villages will find it difficult to reach centres in time because of the scarcity of public transportation.

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Bihar has extended lockdown to 6 September and JEE Main exam is scheduled for 1 September to 5 September. Bihar students will be in no position to appear for the examination. A similar situation is also taking shape in most states across India.

Broad support for postponement

Shashi Tharoor, Congress MP, supported the students demand of postponing both exams until ‘it is safe and practicable.’ A Twitter user asked for his support, the MP replied, “I do support the request to postpone these examinations until it is safe & practicable. I do hope @DrJitendraSingh is listening! #SurakshaBeforePariskha (sic).”

It is in the hands of the central government to decide, but with no clear dictate, students are highly stressed.

A 19-year woman in Tami Nadu committed suicide last Tuesday due to stress of approaching NEET exam. Meanwhile, DMK MLA (legislative member) N Karthik visited the victim’s house. He said that the party chief MK Stalin expressed deep shock over the incident. The MLA urged the centre to immediately cancel the NEET examination.

On Friday, MP Subramanyam Swamy, former economics professor at Harvard University, recommended that the entrance test should be taken after Deepavali festival in November.

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  1. I support this article because the SOPs are not been followed properly . Recently COMEDK exam held and no social distancing and a huge crowd was standing near the door of the exam center . Now where are the SOPs? If this the case so we should request our honorable PM Narendra modi and the Educational ministry to delay the exams for more 1-2 months .

  2. Its funny how supreme court took its decision virtually while ordering students to risk their lives.
    Its clearly a very intelligent decision by our court, i mean, seriously how could they make students waste one year. Thats why they asked students “Are you ready to waste one year”(while not listen whether students are actually saying yes), but its fine.
    Its stupid how students and parents are panicking, its not a big deal even if you get corona there and die, because on the other hand you will get to decide your FUTURE (if you’re left alive). I mean exams are definitely more important than life. People die everyday, but very few pass IIT.

    Moral- It is a very good article by Niloy Sir. He has mentioned everything impotant that one should know about the current situation.

  3. I support this because SOP is just a fancy word on paper but in reality in these situations it is almosf impossible to implement it on ground level. The pandemic and natural calamities make unique situations and government should be flexible on their decision. They should rethink in the welfare of 3000000 students.

  4. It is very surprised for the students that they have get order to appear in the entrance exams while part of country suffered with corona virus and with flood and trains are suspended till 30September. In this condition who will suffer? It’s a question

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