BENGALURU: The state government is determined to go ahead with the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) on the dates fixed by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Deputy CM Dr C N Ashwath Narayan, who is also Minister for Higher Education, on Wednesday accused the opposition parties of politicising the issue.
He termed the opposition to JEE/NEET as an “attempt by some vested interests to disrupt the exams” and iterated that “Karnataka is well prepared to conduct the exams smoothly with all necessary facilities in the backdrop of Covid-19.”
‘Postponement of JEE/NEET not in interest of students’
“They (the opposition) have no concern for the students or for the system. They are trying to politicise the issue. Life is getting back to normal and we have to live with the virus. They are trying to create confusion among people and spoil the academic year,” he said. “The JEE/NEET examinations are important to prevent irregularities in seat allocation, besides ensuring that merit prevails,” Dr Ashwath Narayan added.
The JEE (mains) examinations for engineering seat aspirants is scheduled from September 1 to 6, while the NEET for medical seat aspirants is scheduled on September 13. The exams, normally scheduled for April and May, respectively, were postponed twice due to the pandemic.
“They have already been postponed and further postponement is not in the interest of the students,” Narayan said, echoing the views of academics who have said any further delays in holding the examinations could disrupt the academic calendar besides affecting the future of students. Apart from the SSLC and PUC examinations, the state has already conducted Karnataka Common Entrance Test for more than 1.94 lakh students aspiring to join engineering colleges.
Reacting to the government’s insistence on holding the examinations, educationist Niranjanaradhya V P told TNIE, “Conducting NEET for admission to medical colleges is absurd as students have already passed qualifying examination.
Admission should be based on the score in the qualifying exams. Otherwise, what is the need for qualifying exam? Secondly, the national-level entrance exam is against federalism. The state can conduct an exam to test the aptitude of children if it is required. The NEET, NTA, etc., is indication of one-nation-one-test theory.” Students remained miffed about the decision and have taken to social media over the past few days. “No statement yet from PM Modi on the national issue of NEET-JEE exams. Pandemic has taught students that govt is ignorant about us. In 2024, we will also give our answers when asked to vote,” said Dhruv Jatti, from Bangalore Students Community.