Members of the Congress' youth wing staged a protest near the Shastri Bhawan in Delhi on Wednesday, demanding postponement of the JEE and NEET exams in view of the coronavirus pandemic. Several protesters, who tried to enter the Education ministry, housed at Shastri Bhawan, to submit a memorandum, were detained by the police and taken to Mandir Marg police station, said IYC national media coordinator Rahul Rao.
The national president of IYC, Srinivas BV, said that keeping in mind the safety of lakhs of students, the Central government should postpone the exams. "At a time when even Union ministers and chief ministers are getting infected with the coronavirus, it is unthinkable that the Centre is not postponing the JEE and NEET examinations," he said.
The IYC demands that the Centre should postpone these examinations in the interest of the students. Holding the exams is a necessary step, but it can not be done by putting the lives of lakhs of students at risk, Srinivas said. There is a need for a logical and comprehensive strategy to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, but the central government is "deliberately" taking the risk instead of maintaining caution, he charged.
The demonstration was led by the Youth Congress' Delhi unit in-charge Harish Panwar and co-in charge Khushboo Mangla Sharma. Amid the rising clamour for postponement of the crucial exams in view of rising COVID-19 cases, the Ministry of Education (MoE) officials had reiterated on Tuesday that the exams will be conducted as per schedule in September.
While the NEET is planned on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE Main is scheduled from September 1-6. Around 9.53 lakh candidates have registered for JEE-Mains and 15.97 lakh students have registered for NEET.