Conducting exams amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is a dangerous risk that the government has taken. The National Test Agency has already conducted the JEE Mains exam whose results are also out. Now, the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) exam was also held on September 13 nationwide. However when the exams were conducted huge crowds were seen at different centers with no social distancing, and no one was seen following SOPs. It resulted in a complete failure of government guidelines.
Already there was a considerable number of groups of people who believed that conducting exams in the pandemic situation is not a viable option and demanded that the exam should be postponed. Several people and ministers of 6 opposition ruled states had filed review petitions in the Supreme Court to reconsider the decision however the court dismissed the petitions.
On 13 September after the NEET exam was held Union Education Minister Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank tweeted- “NTA informed me that around 85-90% of students appeared in the NEET exam today. I sincerely thank all Chief Ministers and NTA for proper arrangements made to facilitate student participation. NEET participation reflects the tenacity and grit of the young.”
But the other side of the story is that there are students who committed suicide in Tamil Nadu a day before the exam that is September 12. Jyothi Sridurga, daughter of policeman Murugasundaram, hanged herself at her residence in Madurai, and also on the same day, a boy named Aditya snuffed out his own life. Another boy named Motilal hanged himself to death. All three of them were medical college aspirants students.
The other candidate named Santosh Kumar Yadav, a resident of Darbhanga in Bihar, covered a journey for more than 24 hours and changed two buses to cover a 700-odd kilometer distance to reach Kolkata for his NEET. Unfortunately, he was late by 10 minutes. Sadly, Yadav was not permitted to enter the examination center at a school in Salt Lake, a township located to the east of Kolkata. He pleaded yet he was not allowed and eventually he lost one year.
Many candidates who appeared for the exam faced many hurdles, had to spend excess money, and had to travel a lot which is indeed risky in the pandemic scenario. Students already have tension about the exam in normal circumstances and the pandemic criteria just poured in more stress among students.
Now, who will be responsible for all this mayhem will always be an unanswered question?