Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik has joined other chief ministers of the country seeking postponement of JEE and NEET entrance examinations.

Patnaik, in a letter to union education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nisank, on Tuesday has urged to cancel the entrance test in view of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Patnaik has stated that more than 50,000 students from Odisha are appearing in NEET and around 40,000 in JEE (Main) this year. However, NTA, which has scheduled to co duct the tests for entry into engineering and medical courses on 6th and 13th September, 2020, has opened examination centres for the said tests in only seven townships of the State.

” In this context, I would like to say that in view of the prevailing COVID pandemic situation 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.”

Further, the chief minister has pointed out, “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 centers.”

“In view of the above, it is requested that the ensuing JEE (Main) and NEET examination scheduled to be held in I st fortnight of September, 2020 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.”