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Odishatv Bureau

New Delhi: BJP MP Subramanian Swamy has sought Prime Minister Narendra Modi's intervention to direct the Education Ministry to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) till Diwali, and warned of suicides by youths otherwise.

In his "urgent letter" to Modi, Swamy said: "Holding the exams, in my opinion, may lead to a large number of suicides by youths around the country."

He cited an example of Mumbai where, he claimed, "there is no public transport and people have to come from other areas, often 20 to 30 km away". This is because of the restrictions enforced at many places due to the COVID-19 pandemic, he argued.

"There is widespread desperation among the youth since this exam is a make-or-break affair for them and they have to take it when they are fully prepared," the Rajya Sabha MP wrote to the Prime Minister.

Earlier, Swamy spoke to Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal. Pointing this out to Modi, Swamy added that Pokhriyal was "sympathetic" to his suggestion to put it off beyond Diwali. However, it needs the Prime Minister's "concurrence", he wrote.

Earlier, Swamy tweeted on the Supreme Court order on the matter, saying that the apex court had "left the date (for the exam) to the government" to decide.

On Monday, the Supreme Court had rejected a plea for the postponement of the two entrance tests due to the coronavirus outbreak. The court said that life has to go on despite the virus outbreak and that it could not put the careers of students in jeopardy by interfering in National Testing Agency's decision to hold these in September.

Amid the chorus against holding the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), the NSUI also wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to demand their postponement, citing the danger to the lives of students amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

"With about 26 lakh students registered for the entrance exams and lakhs of final-year students, the exercise will lend much greater possibility to the spread of Covid-19," National Students Union of India (NSUI) National President Neeraj Kundan wrote in the letter to the Prime Minister.

Kundan said that the exercise would not only put the candidates' lives at risk but also of people/parents accompanying them to the examination centres.

"Furthermore, the cycle will never cease and only act as a catalyst, endangering more vulnerable lives," the NSUI leader said.

Kundan questioned how the authorities would ensure social distancing with such a large number of people. "If it is not ensured properly, it will be an invitation to a health hazard or a 'man-made disaster'," he said.

The NSUI leader highlighted that public transport, including trains, remained suspended due to the pandemic. "In such a scenario, it will be difficult for students to travel as we saw after the release of JEE hall tickets," he said.

Kundan said that a few states were battling a flood crisis too. "I humbly request the Prime Minister to look into these prime concerns. I hope that he will take the best decision, as students' safety is of paramount concern."

(IANS)

Also Read: NEET, JEE Main 2020: Supreme Court Quashes Plea Seeking Postponement Of Examinations

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