Supreme Court

The times of pandemic are tough.Everything around us is at halt.Covid-19 has had a grave impact on each and every sphere of our life including health on the forefront,finances as well as education.There has been a serious ongoing debate regarding the conduct of JEE Mains(Engineering Entrance Exam) and NEET(MBBS Entrance exam) stirring in the National arena.

Supreme Court gave an order on 17 August allowing JEE,NEET exam to be held next month.In compliance with this order,the National Testing Agency has also shown a green flag to the conduct of JEE Mains and NEET UG exams in September this year.NTA said that the examinations will be held on time-JEE Mains from September 1 to 6 and NEET UG on September 13.While 8.58 lakh candidates have registered for JEE Mains,15.97 lakh candidates have registered for NEET(UG) 2020.It has given assurance regarding the safety of students by making certain amendments which are mandatory to meet the social distancing requirements.

NTA said that it has ensured more than 99 percent candidates get their first choice of centre cities in both the examinations.As per NTA,the number of examination centres has been substantially increased from 570 to 660(in case of JEE Mains) and 2,546 to 3,843(in case of NEET UG).Additionally,in case of JEE Mains,the number of shifts has been increased.

Despite all these reforms, six ministers from opposition ruled states filed a petition in the SC challenging its 17 August order,in wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.The review petition was filed by West Bengal’s Labour and Law Minister Moloy Ghatak,Jharkhand’s Finance Minister Dr. Rameshwar Oraon,Rajasthan’s Health and Family Welfare Minister Dr. Raghu Sharma,Chhattisgarh’s Food Minister Amarjeet Bhagat ,Punjab’s Health Minister Balbir Singh Sidhu and Maharashtra’s Education Minister Uday R. Samant.

SC has dismissed the petitions saying that “the career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long”.It further added that “Life has to go on.Life has to move ahead.Precious year of students cannot be wasted”.The petition then submitted that “the advice of ‘Life must go on’ may sound too vague and philosophical underpinnings but cannot be a substitute for valid legal reasoning and logical analysis of the various aspects involved in the conduct of NEET UG and JEE exams”.

It criticised the Supreme Court judgement for lacking “an authoritative and comprehensive judicial scrutiny” of the grave issues involved and their consequences.They put forward an argument highlighting the undisputed facts regarding the exponential increase in both the Covid-19 positive cases as well as the mortality rate since April 2020.The petition pointed out that the “JEE Mains exam is slated to be conducted over 660 centres,with 9.53 lakh students expected to appear for it.This means that there will be 1,443 students per centre.Similarly,15.97 lakh students are expected to take the NEET UG exam,across 3,843 centres.Hence,there will be 415 students per exam centre”.

They concluded by making the point that “such large movement of people will ipso facto prove to be a serious health hazard and will totally defeat the twin present-day solutions we have of combating the Covid-19 pandemic i.e social distancing and avoidance of large public gatherings.”So,the  request they made was to postpone the exams.They tagged the decision of SC as “unreasonable,arbitrary and capricious exercise of power” and also pointed out the lack of mandatory safeguards for the conduct of the exams.It however,clarified that the petitioners do not wish to make any value judgement or political criticism of the Union Government at such times.

The ministers expressed their concern by saying that if the SC’s judgement is not reviewed then grave,irreparable harm and injury would befall on the student community of our country and not only will the health ,welfare  and safety of the exam giving candidates would stand imperilled but also the public health in general will be compromised.

This verbal commotion has led to paramount elevation in the political entropy around us.More than you or us,this situation is traumatic for the candidates who have to give the entrance examinations this year.Supreme Court has now, finally given the ultimate verdict in this case that the entrance exams cannot be postponed.Over 17 lakh students have further downloaded their admit cards.All in all, amidst this scenario of disruption and uproar, we can only hope that this decision will work likely in favour of the community as a whole and also safeguard the future of our posterity in all possible ways.

By Deeksha Arora

Just a language enthusiast with an opinion

8 thoughts on “Final Verdict: Supreme Court’s conclusion to the Examination Tussle”

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