Bhubaneswar: Echoing the concerns of students and several others, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday urged the Centre to postpone the JEE (Main) and NEET tests in view of the prevailing pandemic situation in the country.
Notably, the National Testing Agency (NTA) is scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) from September 1-6 and NEET on September 13.
In a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, the CM wrote that under the present circumstances, “it would be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to visit the test centres physically”.
“Besides, as frequent lockdown/shutdown are being enforced by the district administrations concerned due to sudden escalation of COVID positive cases locally, the local transportation too gets affected,” he added.
Naveen pointed out that more than 50,000 students from Odisha are set to appear in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year. However, the NTA has opened examination centres for the tests in only seven townships of Odisha.
“Further, Odisha has got vast tribal pockets having geographically inaccessible areas, far away from the urban centres of the State. As such, the students of these areas may be deprived of appearing in these tests, as they will have to travel long distances to come to the examination centres,” the letter said.
Reiterating the request for postponing the tests, the CM added, “Whenever NTA holds these 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.”