The NEET and JEE debate continues even as the preparations for the September exams continue. With the lives of many students riding on these two exams, the cries for postponement have grown to a fever pitch.
While guidelines have been issued for safe conduct, students are against conducting the exams amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, climate change activist Greta Thunberg joined the students' demand.
Greta Thunberg calls the decision 'deeply unfair'
For the past month, students have been asking authorities to postpone the NEET and JEE exams, which are set to take place next month. Many Indian politicians have joined the students' outcry. However, it looks like the exam shall proceed as the Supreme Court discusses safe conduct with the centre.
These will be two nation-wide exams conducted amid a pandemic. Students have claimed this poses a huge risk to their health. Still, guidelines for the exams have been issued. Much like all exams, masks, gloves and sanitizer will be mandatory. Students will have to carry personal water bottles.
Meanwhile, a special isolation room at centres will be allotted to those with body temperatures over 99.4 degrees and the NTA will ask for a self-declaration from aspirants as to their symptoms and have come in contact with COVID patients.
Students, on the other hand, are protesting the decision to proceed with the upcoming exams. Leaders like Mamata Banerjee, Naveen Patnaik and MK Stalin have all lent their support to students in demanding postponement. Furthermore, a hunger strike was launched earlier this week by 4,200 students to push for the postponement of exams.
Now, the students received support from Greta Thunberg the climate change activist who has unabashedly raised her voice on many issues. The young activist said on Twitter, "It's deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods. I stand with their call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID"
Greta's tweet has propelled the issue internationally. Some feel this is a step too far. The students' fate right now rests in the hands of the Supreme Court and the authorities' discretion. COVID-19 has posed a huge threat to all since the start of the pandemic, for the students, it has created uncertainty in their future. There is also the question of how the exams should be conducted and if postponed, when? The real question is, will raising one's voice be enough in this matter, and to what end?