(Riya Saha, Intern Journalist )New Delhi: The Union government may defer the exam schedules of the Joint entrance exam (JEE) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) owing to the increasing number of coronavirus cases across the country.
The JEE (Main) for engineering colleges and the NEET for medical colleges are scheduled to take place later this month. While JEE (Mains), the first leg of the two-tier entrance, is currently scheduled between 18 July and 23 July in multiple test windows, NEET is slated for 26 July.
“The Union HRD minister has been talking about the safety of the students as a key factor. The situation in the last week -10 days, after a CBSE board exam decision, has only worsened with more positive cases being reported every day. This makes it a tough case to go ahead with a physical model of the exam for two high stake exams,” said a government official.
The surge in coronavirus cases has led to the scrapping of the CBSE Class 10 board exams scheduled between 1 July and 15 July. The board had said an optional examination will be conducted for class 12 students as soon as the situation becomes conducive.
“There are few issues in front of the authorities. Can these exams be held both online and offline mode largely from a home setting? Two, can all students have the facility to take a time-bound, high stake entrance without any difficulty in access to required gadgets, uninterrupted electricity, and high-speed internet,” the official said.
“But the other issue is deferring the entrances will have a bearing on the higher education academic calendar,” the official added.
“Looking at the prevailing circumstances & requests received from students & parents appearing for JEE & NEET examinations, a committee consisting of @DG_NTA & other experts has been advised to review the situation & submit its recommendations to the HRD Ministry latest by tomorrow,” Ramesh Pokhriyal had twitted last evening.
Around 2.5 million students put together are expected to sit for both JEE and NEET exams, and the government “may take a judicious decision to defer it to a further date after July,” said the official.