The Supreme Court dismissed pleas seeking postponement of NEET and JEE Main 2020 which were scheduled in September this year.
JEE and NEET are the main examinations for medical and engineering course which happens in all across India and even in some abroad countries. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 16, all the educational institutions were shut down because of the rapid spread of the coronavirus across the country. The plea was heard by the Supreme Court Bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra. On August 6,2020, a plea was filed by 11 students belonging to 11 different states who petitioned against the National Testing Agency (NTA) official notice, which was released on July 3, about the dates of exam for NEET and JEE. The actual dates were scheduled in May 2020 but due to the pandemic, it was extended to September. The petition cited that, if NTA conducts NEET and JEE in such perilous time it will put the lakhs of lives in utmost danger and risk of death and disease. It also mentioned that waiting for some time till the danger and risk of COVID-19 is gone will keep lots of lives of children safe. The petitioners also asked the Court to increase the number of examination centers across India so that a safe way of social distancing can be followed by each student during the exam.
The plea filed by advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava also said that respondents (NTA and others) have ignored the fact that many states are not permitting and refused to conduct any sort of exam whether if it is professional or non- professional during this pandemic, which can cause unforeseeable damage and harassment to the petitioners. Recently, the hearing held in Supreme Court dismissed the petition saying that postponement of JEE and NEET will keep a lot of careers in jeopardy and will result in losing of an academic year. During the hearing advocate, Alakh said that there is a chance of vaccine coming soon for COVID19, even the prime minister said about it in his August 15 speech. He asked saying that, ‘not seeking an indefinite postponement of the exam, but a postponement for some time’. The bench said that it has taken into record the submission of Solicitor General Tushar Mehta (appearing for NTA) that, exams will be held with a full adequate amount of precautions. Justice Arun Mishra said that ‘life should move on even in COVID-19 times. We can’t just stop exams. We should move on with all safeguards and our own precautions. It can continue up to more than one year. Are you going to wait for one more year? Are students ready to waste one academic year? Education should be opened up. Do you know what the loss to the country and the peril to the students is?’ As per the final verdict given by Justice Arun Mishra in Supreme Court, the NEET and JEE Exams are going to be conducted on the same dates i.e., in September which was earlier issued by NTA and no postponement will be granted by any cost.