Odisha Channel Bureau
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has urged the Centre to postpone the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) scheduled to be held next month.
In a two-page letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Tuesday, Patnaik said that in view of the prevailing COVID-19 pandemic in the country, it would be highly unsafe and perilous for the students to visit the test centres physically to appear in these tests.
“Besides, as frequent lockdown/shutdown are being enforced by the concerned district administrations due to sudden escalation of the COVID positive case locally, the local transportation too gets disrupted,” said Patnaik in his letter.
He pointed out that more than 50,000 students from Odisha are appearing in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year. However, NTA has opened examination centres for the said tests in seven townships of the State only, he added.
The Chie Minister further said that 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.”
Patnaik requested that the ensuing JEE (Main) and NEET examination scheduled to be held in first fortnight of September may be postponed to a later date to ensure the safety and security of the students.
“Besides, whenever NTA hold 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, said Patnaik.