6 opposition-ruled states move SC over holding NEET-JEE

NEW DELHI: Six Cabinet ministers of opposition ruled West Bengal, Punjab, Maharashtra, Rajasthan, Chhattisgarh and Jharkhand on Friday jointly file a petition in the Supreme Court against holding of the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Examination (NEET-UG) this year because of Covid-19 pandemic.

The ministers from the opposition ruled states sought review of the SC’s August 17 order by which it had refused to cancel NEET-UG exams saying “life must go on”.

The state ministers in their review petition told the SC that NEET needs to be cancelled to secure safety, security and right to life of students wanting to appear for NEET/JEE examinations.

NEET & JEE: Should we have exams now?

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NEET & JEE: Should we have exams now?

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The six state ministers told the SC that holding NEET/JEE would be impossible to make provision for huge logistics required for lakhs of students appearing in the examinations, including transport and lodging during pandemic.

The review petitioners are WB law minister Maloy Ghatak, Jharkhand finance minister Rameshwar Oraon, Rajasthan health minister Dr Raghu Sharma, Chhattisgarh food minister Amarjeet Bhagat, Punjab health minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and Maharashtra education minister Uday R Samant.

On August 17, the top court had refused to interfere with the conduct of medical and engineering entrance exams — NEET and JEE – scheduled to take place in September saying that life must go on and students can’t lose a precious year due to the pandemic.

The apex court had dismissed a plea by one Sayantan Biswas seeking direction to National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts both the NEET and JEE exams, to postpone them and said that there was “absolutely” no merit in the plea.

(With inputs from agencies)

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