Hyderabad, Aug 27 : Students in Telugu states are keeping their fingers crossed as the Centre is going ahead with the conduct of Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) UG.
A section of students want the examination to be postponed in view of the Covid-19 pandemic but there are others who want the uncertainty to end once and for all.
With the ruling parties in both Telangana and Andhra Pradesh not demanding the Centre to postpone the exams, the students appear to have reconciled to the situation and are gearing up for the crucial entrance tests.
Telangana Rashtra Samithi (TRS) and YSR Congress Party (YSRCP) have not joined the Congress party and its allies in demanding postponement of JEE and NEET.
The governments in both the Telugu states themselves have declared schedule for state-level entrance tests for admission to various professionals.
Leaders of both the ruling parties say they are keen to see life returning to normal and hence will have no objection to the Centre conducting the exams with all arrangements required to protect the students from Covid-19.
In Telangana alone, 67,319 students have registered for JEE Main and 55,800 for NEET. The JEE Main will be held at 27 centres and NEET at 112 centres in Telangana.
Students are divided on whether the tests should be conducted or not. Those whose preparations were affected by Covid-19 pandemic and those who had to relocate are not in favour of the exams.
The candidates, who had registered for the exams in Hyderabad while undergoing coaching but had to go back to their native places because of the virus spread, are hit hard. Those who went back to their homes in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Maharashtra are the worst affected.
Jeevan Reddy, who was studying in Hyderabad but had to go back to Anantapur due to Covid-19 situation, has no clue as to how he would reach Hyderabad to write the exam.
“I have to travel 420 km from Andhra Pradesh to Telangana at such a time when there is no public transport,” he said.
Some students have taken to social media to oppose the conduct of the exams. They want the authorities to wait till the situation completely returns to normal.
They have appealed to the chief ministers and ministers in both the states to urge the Centre to demand postponement of exams.
Many highlighted the problems they face in travelling to the exam centres and the fear of contracting Covid.
Students whose families were directly affected by Covid are also demanding the postponement. “I appeal to the government to postpone the exams. This is not the right time to hold the exams,” said Sana Mujeeba, who lost a close relative to Covid-19 while three others were also infected. Her parents are so scared that they have advised her to skip NEET if it is conducted during the pandemic.
There are others who just want the uncertainty to end with the conduct of the exams. “There is already a delay of four months. We are getting fed up. They should end this uncertainty once for all by conducting the test,” said another student appearing for NEET.
M. Kodandaram, a former professor of Osmania University, points out that students are anxious.
“They made their preparations according to a schedule and now because of Covid exams got postponed. The students feel so tense. They can’t study every day, they get bored. If they don’t study, they feel insecure. They want to get rid of this burden once for all,” he said.
Kodandaram, who is also the founder of political party Telangana Jana Samithi (TJS), said the government should be able to conduct exams without spreading Covid further.
“Will they be able to ensure this is the main question. There is a feeling that at this point in time the government will not be able to make the arrangements required and it is in this context that everyone is seeking postponement.”
He wants the Centre to consult the states and take them into confidence before conducting the exams.
“The Central government on most occasions has been taking decisions unilaterally ignoring the state governments. Best thing is to talk to state governments, take them into confidence, review the whole situation and arrive at a decision so that the interests of students can be protected,” added Kodandaram.
The main Opposition — Congress party in Telangana has announced that it will hold protests in front of government offices in all the districts on August 28 to oppose conduct of JEE and NEET. “We shall rise against exams in Covid-19 because nothing else but student lives matter,” said state Congress chief Uttam Kumar Reddy.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) president and Hyderabad MP Asaduddin Owaisi has also opposed conduct of JEE and NEET in the midst of pandemic. He, however, advised students not to expect empathy from the government and be prepared for the worst.
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.