New Delhi [India], August 28 (ANI): Congress General Secretary KC Venugopal on Friday joined the protest by the party's student wing National Students' Union of India (NSUI) in Delhi against the Centre's decision to conduct JEE and NEET in September and demanded that the Centre postpone the examinations in view of COVID-19.
He said the government needs to consider the safety of the students before finalising the date of the examination.
The Congress general secretary told ANI, "We are sharing the sentiments of the student community of India. We want the safety of students. In northern rural areas students have to travel long distances to reach the centre. Will the government ensure accessibility or safety?"
"The government needs to consider the matter before finalising the date. A responsible government should at least hear out the students and parents. The students don't want to lose a year. The government can fix a convenient date after 1-2 months with all safety measures and assign exam centres in each district to decrease the load," he added.
He said, "Students are mentally distressed due to the increasing coronavirus cases. Today, COVID-19 cases are around 76 lakh in the country, and every day thousands of cases are reported. Without safety, how will students find the mental peace to write the examination?"
He said this is an area of great concern which is why an online campaign is also being conducted to raise the issue. "It is a great area of concern which is why we are moving the SC for relief. We are also conducting an online campaign today and everyone is joining it. The government should understand the sentiments of the country and we will continue to put pressure." Protests were held across different states and UTs of the country including Delhi, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Uttarakhand, Bihar and Gujarat on Friday.
Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday said that the safety and future of the students was the topmost priority with regard to holding the Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) amid the COVID-19 pandemic. He added that several steps including the increase in the number of exam centres had been taken.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) is scheduled to conduct the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) 2020 [NEET] on September 13 and Joint Entrance Examination Main [JEE] on September 1-6. (ANI)