In UP, opinions on NEET-JEE vary along political lines

Lucknow, Aug 27 (IANS) Shashank Tiwari is in a dilemma. He is fully prepared to take the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and embark on a career in medical.

“I am fully prepared and confident of cracking the exams. My parents, however, want me to drop out because of the Corona scare. I have already lost my grandfather and then uncle to Covid-19 and there is no way that my parents will allow me to take the examination. I am deeply stressed over the situation,” he said on Thursday.

His father, Shivkant Tiwari, has his own reasons. “Shashank is my only son and life is more important that a career. We have faced two deaths in the family and I cannot allow my son to risk his life. If all goes well, he can take the examination next year,” he said.

The controversy over the holding of NEET and JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) examinations in September has already started acquiring political overtones.

The Centre has said that the entrance examinations cannot be delayed any further due to Coronavirus and lockdown as an entire academic year cannot be lost.

Uttar Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister Dinesh Sharma, who holds the higher education portfolio, said: “The Centre has taken a decision and we agree with it completely. The career of lakhs of students cannot be jeopardised. We will conduct the examinations with full safety protocols.”

He said that a vast silent majority was in favour of the tests being held while only a handful were holding protests.

Samajwadi Party President Akhilesh Yadav, meanwhile, said that with public transport not working in full force, it would be difficult for students to come to their centres and take examinations.

“Besides, who will be responsible if the students and their guardian get infected with the Coronavirus? There are lakhs who will be moving out of their homes for the examinations,” he said.

Shankar Gupta, owner of the Star Coaching in Kanpur, said, “The students are not mentally prepared for the NEET and JEE examinations. There has been a prolonged lockdown and the situation is not yet normal. It would be better to further postpone the exams, set a new date so that students can mentally prepare themselves.”

In Uttar Pradesh, 1,66,582 students will take the NEET, according to data released by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

For the JEE (Main) exam, which, like NEET, is also slated to be held in September, in Uttar Pradesh, alone 1,00,706 candidates will take the test in 66 centres.

NEET, which has to given in the pen-paper-based format is the entrance exam for top medical colleges. It will be held on September 13 while the JEE (Main), which is for entry to engineering colleges, is a computer-based test to be held from September 1 to 6.



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