Valley News Desk

New Delhi, August 31: Amid the furore over the holding of JEE and NEET exams next month, Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ said that his Ministry is fully prepared for safe conduct of both these exams and is committed to ensuring the safety of the students.

The government doesn’t want a zero academic session as the students will have to bear a huge loss, he said. “We are committed to a bright future of our students.”

The JEE Main and NEET examinations were scheduled to be held in April-May but due to the COVID19 outbreak, they were postponed to July, and finally it was announced that the examinations will be conducted in September.

Nishank told IANS that many parents, students and teachers across the country have written to him, requesting that the exams be conducted as the aspirants have been preparing from last year.

He appealed to the students to give the exams diligently and not to worry about the safety of the examination centres.

Expressing his concern over attempts to politicise the issue, the Minister said: “I request all my colleagues in the opposition to abide by the orders of Supreme Court. Rather than politicising the matter, they should cooperate in building the bright future for the students.”

Even the Supreme Court and the National Testing Agency (NTA) have said that there is no point in wasting a precious year of the students, Nishank said, adding that the NTA said that if this year is termed a zero academic year, then how will they accommodate the candidates of this year as well as next year in the next year.

‘All safety measures to be followed both inside and outside centres’

Nishank said that he himself will ensure that all the safety measures are followed during the exams and social distancing will be followed strictly not only inside the examination centres, but outside them also.

In order to maintain social distancing, the number of students in a room has been halved to 12 from 24 while the examination centres for JEE have been increased to 660 from 570 and 3,843 from 2,846 for NEET, he said.

Apart from this, the shifts for JEE exams have also been increased and almost 99 per cent of the students have been allotted the centres as per their first preference, the Education Minister added.

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