India emerged to be one of the countries worst hit by corona. With such a huge and dense population the corona seems to be spreading like wildfire across its length and breadth. However, even in such adverse conditions, the government of India has decided to go up with a few of the most competitive examinations in the world- the JEE and NEET.
JEE(Joint Entrance examinations) and NEET(National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), two of the biggest competitive examinations not only in India but also across the world, are the gateway to the premier engineering and medical government colleges of the country. With the number of candidates close to 26 lakh in both the exams(9 to 10 lakh in JEE and 16 lakh in NEET), it surely seems to be the biggest examinations that are to be conducted during the corona crisis all across the world. However, the proposal for conducting the examinations drew mixed reactions from the parents as well as students. With about 90k cases of corona daily, the infection seems to spare none. Thus the parents as well as the students are terrified to show up in the examination centers as they could become hotspots for the spread of COVID-19. Moreover, the students writing such a highly competitive examination have been asked by the education ministry to wear a mask while giving the tests, which not only adds to the discomfort and reduced speeds of the students affecting their performance but also gives rise to many problems such as fogging of glasses, a psychological impact, etc. To worsen the situation many states of India were victims of heavy rain and floods which not only devastated the livelihood of many but also disrupted the transport systems, be it interstate or intrastate. With disrupted transport facilities, the corona danger, and the lockdown still prevailing in many states of India, it seemed to be very controversial to hold these examinations. However, the government cited that if these examinations are not conducted now, it would lead to the wastage of an entire academic year for many students.
This gave rise to a plethora of controversies, wherein the students, parents, political parties protested and prayed for the postponement of the examinations, but all in vain. It is true that corona had a deep effect in the education system all across the globe and delaying the exams would mean a delay in the academic activities of the colleges but many people argue that this delay could be compensated by compromising with the vacations next year.
The government has also been accused to have taken a bribe from the coaching industry, revolving around these competitive examinations and thus facing a huge loss due to the already delayed examinations. However, there are many students who really welcomed this move as they said that further delay in these examinations would have increased their anxiety affecting their mental health and performance and they are thus ready to risk their lives for the examinations.
Whatever your viewpoint may be, the record absence of 26% of candidates for the JEE examinations showed that a substantial mass decides to drop a year rather than compromising with the health of themselves as well as their families. Moreover, these government examinations which have always been respected as they never failed to provide equal opportunity to all masses, fails to provide an equal ground to students across various economic backgrounds as many of the candidates hailing from the poorer strata of the society are facing a lot more problem over transport and other issues over the candidates with a financially sound background.