Cong, its youth wing stage protests in Haryana and Punjab against JEE, NEET

Topics NEET JEE | Congress | Coronavirus

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The Congress and its youth wing on Friday staged protests at many places in Haryana, Punjab and their joint capital Chandigarh against the holding of JEE and NEET amid the COVID-pandemic.

Various opposition parties, including the Congress, have demanded that the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) be deferred due to the COVID-19 pandemic and floods in parts of the country, even as the Union government has made it clear that they will be held as per schedule with due precautions.

In Haryana, Congress leaders and workers held protests at many places including Karnal, Kaithal, Bhiwani and Sirsa.

Congress workers in Bhiwani burnt an effigy of the Union education minister and demanded that the exams be deferred keeping in view the present COVID-19 situation.

In Sirsa, Congress workers, during a protest, demanded that the exams be deferred for now.

"What is the urgency of holding these exams when cases are increasing. Why are lives of thousands of students and their families being put at risk," a Congress leader said.

Haryana Congress president Kumari Selja said that during the past few weeks, there has been a sharp increase in COVID-19 cases.

"In this situation the government is bent upon holding JEE and NEE exams which has raised worries of lakhs of students and their parents. Given the situation as it is now due to COVID, how will the government make stay and transport arrangements of so many students," the Congress leader said.

"Moreover, in some parts of the country the flood situation has aggravated. Should the government be stubborn about holding these exams or take decisions keeping interests of people in mind?" Selja asked.

While NEET is scheduled to be held on September 13, engineering entrance exam JEE-Main has been planned from September 1-6. Around 8.58 lakh candidates have registered for the JEE-Main and 15.97 lakh have registered for the NEET.

The exams have been deferred twice in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

Members of the Chandigarh Territorial Congress, led by its president Pradeep Chhabra, staged a protest against holding of these exams, with him saying this is not the time to "endanger the lives of students".

"Don't play with the lives of students," read a placard at the protest in Chandigarh.

At many places in Punjab, the Youth Congress submitted memorandums addressed to the Centre through the district administrations on the issue. It demanded that these exams be put off for the time being.

Punjab Youth Congress president Barinder Dhillon said that these exams should be put off as holding them at this stage would put lives of thousands of students at risk.

Punjab Congress chief Sunil Jakhar had on Thursday hit out at the BJP-led government at the Centre, accusing it of "playing with the lives" of millions of youth by being "adamant" on conducting JEE and NEET exams, amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jakhar's reaction came a day after Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh asked his state advocate general to coordinate with his counterparts in other opposition-ruled states for filing a collective review petition in the Supreme Court, to seek deferment of NEET and JEE.

On Friday, ministers of six opposition-ruled states moved the Supreme Court on seeking review of its order permitting the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE entrance exams this year amid the persisting COVID-19 pandemic.

The top court on August 17 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. PTI SUN VSD

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(Only the headline and picture of this report may have been reworked by the Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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