Amid growing clamour for the postponement of JEE-Main and NEET exams, IIT Delhi director V Ramgopal Rao has said that any further delay in holding these entrance tests will have “serious repercussions”, not just on the academic calendar of the engineering and medical colleges but also on the career of “many bright students”.
In a Facebook post, he has appealed to the students to “trust the institutions” and take the entrance tests while “strictly” following the Covid-19 safety guidelines.
Seeking to reassure the parents of the safety of the students who have registered for the entrance tests, Rao said that both the National Testing Agency (NTA) and the Union Education Ministry are in touch with the State governments for taking care of the transport requirements.
“It will become a zero academic year for lakhs of students (if exams are not held). Let's not be deterred by Covid. Let's become responsible and let's all do our best by adjusting to this new normal. Covid can stay, careers can't wait. We cannot be perpetually in lockdown mode. Covid is not going to go away for another six months to one year,” Rao said.
As far as the JEE-Main is concerned, the exam is now conducted multiple times in a year. In case, some students cannot write the JEE Main this time, they can take the exam after 6 months again, he suggested.
“I don't see any reason for a concern. As if Covid-19 is not enough, this uncertainty about exam dates is further adding to the stress levels of students. I am happy that the government (has) reaffirmed the examination dates,” he added.
The NTA is set to conduct the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE)-Main from September 1 to September 6 for National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other engineering colleges while the testing agency will hold the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical programmes on September 13.
Nearly 2 lakh top JEE-Main scorers would be allowed to take JEE-Advanced, scheduled to be held on September 27, for admission in the IITs. The IIT Delhi is the organizer of the JEE-Advanced for this year.
“As the JEE Advanced organising Institute, I assure everyone that IITs will do their best and put their best foot forward in organizing the JEE Advanced examination,” Rao said.
He said that all preparations for the JEE-Advanced have already been done.
“Health of the candidates is of utmost concern to all of us. We all have children and we can connect with the parents of candidates. We will be closely monitoring the situation and taking necessary steps as necessary.”
Rao also clarified that there will be no change in the JEE-Advanced pattern or the admission process, saying tinkering with will be “detrimental and unfair for everyone.”
He said that IITs can at least start the academic sessions, which could be online, in December if the JEE-Main and JEE-Advanced are conducted in September.
“Our academic calendars are too packed already and linked to too many other things. The delays can impact the careers of so many bright students. We have already lost 6 months,” he added.
Rao in his Facebook also crticised the TV debates on the demands for postponement of the JEE and NEET exams, saying "these debates “more heat than light.”
“Also, the debates have become polarized on party lines. So I am deciding to stay away from them. I feel sad for those serious students preparing for these examinations. I did receive a large number of emails from them,” he added.