Bhubaneswar: Odisha Government on Tuesday shot off a letter to Union Education Minister Dr Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank urging him to postpone the ensuing JEE (Main) and NEET examinations, scheduled to be held in first fortnight of September, in view of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Besides, the CM also requested the Union Minister to direct the National Testing Agency (NTA) to open exam centres in all the 30 districts of the state.
Worth mentioning, NTA has scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) and NEET tests for admission into technical and medical courses from September 1 to 6 and on September 13, respectively. More than 50,000 students from Odisha will appear in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year.
Patnaik said as NTA has opened examination centres in seven townships of the state only, it would be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to visit the test centres physically to appear in the tests amidst the COVID pandemic.
Besides, frequent lockdown/shutdown enforced by respective district administrations due to sudden spike in positive cases disrupts vehicular movements, he added. Further, the CM said students residing in tribal pockets in the state may be deprived of appearing in the tests as they will have to travel long distances to come to the examination centers.
“In view of this, it is requested that the JEE (Main) and NEET examinations may be postponed to a later date to ensure the safety and security of the students. Besides, whenever NTA hold the tests, it may be directed to open centres in all the 30 districts of the state so that students have to travel maximum 2-3 hours to reach the test centres and go back home the same day and thus ensure maximum participation of the students in these tests,” the letter reads.