On Wednesday, taking part in a discussion through video conferencing with Congress chief Sonia Gandhi and Chief Ministers of some states, West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had said that Opposition ruled States such as Maharashtra, Punjab, West Bengal, Jharkhand should collectively approach the Supreme Court for deferring NEET, JEE Main exams to be held next month. She also mentioned that she had raised her concerns over the same issue with the Prime Minister.

Punjab CM directs AG to file review petition in SC seeking deferment of NEET, JEE exams:

Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed State Advocate General Atul Nanda to coordinate with his counterparts in other Opposition ruled states for filing a collective review petition in the Supreme Court seeking deferment of NEET, JEE exams.

According to a press statement, the directive followed a Video Conference of the meeting convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi with the chief ministers of seven Opposition-ruled states to discuss this and other issues of common concern, including delay in GST compensation release and the farm Ordinances by the Government of India, as well as the New Education Policy, which Captain Amarinder said was thrust on the states without consultation.

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Noting that what the states were seeking was not the moon but their own dues, the Chief Minister also suggested that a delegation of all the Opposition ruled chief ministers should meet the Prime Minister to press for the release of GST compensation and financial assistance to fight Covid.

According to the press statement, The Chief Minister also disclosed that his government would be setting up a committee soon to assess the impact of the New Education Policy on the state’s education system and finances. Every state has its own system, which the Government of India failed to take into account before announcing the policy, he said.

Citing the importance laid by his government on education, he said that while in schools his government had already decided to promote the students based on their earlier performance, the final term college exams issue remained a matter of concern. “How can we have exams with Covid projected to peak in the state in September?” he asked, adding that “I also want students to take exams and pass too, but how can I do this in the midst of the crisis?”

Akhilesh Yadav backs demand to defer JEE, NEET amid COVID-19:

Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav on Thursday spoke out against the conduction of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) in the middle of COVID-19 pandemic. The National Testing Agency (NTA) has announced that the JEE (Main) will be held from September 1 to 6 and NEET (UG) on September 13.  Yadav asserted that exams amid the COVID-19 outbreak will put the lives of lakhs of students’ at risk.

Odisha CM dials PM Modi requesting him to postpone NEET, JEE exams:

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik dialled Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday requesting him to postpone National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (Undergraduate) 2020 [NEET] and Joint Entrance Examination Main [JEE] examinations in the view of COVID-19 pandemic and flood in the state.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) is scheduled to conduct the JEE (Main) on September 1-6 and NEET on September 13. Odisha Chief Minister had on Tuesday urged Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal to postpone NEET 2020 and JEE Main 2020 due to outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic.

He also informed the Union Education Minister that transportation in Odisha has been disrupted because of the lockdown enforced by many district administrations in an attempt to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Reiterating the request for postponing the exams, Patnaik added, “Whenever NTA holds 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.”

Heavy rainfall in many parts of Odisha resulted in a flood-like situation. Moreover, the water-level of the Baitarani River has also risen amid incessant rains. People in Bhadrak were seen wading through waist-deep water in the flooded areas.

The situation is such that the villagers of Hasnabad were seen using rubber tubes to get around from one place to another. According to the Union Health Ministry, Odisha at present has 24,348 active cases of COVID-19. Also, a total of 62813 have been cured and 441 have died after contracting the infection.

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