Six states ruled by Opposition parties – West Bengal, Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Chattisgarh, Punjab and Maharashtra – moved the Supreme Court on Friday seeking postponement of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test and Joint Entrance Examination, Live Law reported. The states filed a review petition against the Supreme Court judgement earlier this month, which rejected a plea for such postponement.
While the JEE is scheduled from September 1 to 6, the NEET exam is scheduled to take place on September 13.
The six states told the Supreme Court that its August 17 order failed to secure the safety, security and right to life of the candidates appearing for the NEET and JEE exams, Bar and Bench reported. The petitioners said the order ignores the “teething logistical difficulties” in conducting the exams on the proposed dates.
They added that the order failed to balance the equally important but competing aspects of conducting the examinations and ensuring the safety of the students. The states alleged that the order also fails to ensure that mandatory safeguards are put in place while conducting the exams, given the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
“The Covid-19 graph is showing a continuous upward movement and the ‘curve’ has not flattened for the central government to undertake such a massive exercise,” the petition said.
The plea added that at a time when classroom teaching has been completely stopped due to the lockdown imposed to contain the virus, it shows “non-application of mind” on the part of the government to conduct the exams. The plea also claimed that the decision to take the tests is an “unreasonable, arbitrary and capricious use of power”.
Earlier in the day, the Congress launched a nationwide protest on Friday against the conduct of the exams. “Unite your voice with lakhs of suffering students,” Congress leader Rahul Gandhi tweeted. “#SpeakUpFor StudentSafety...Let’s make the government listen to the students.”