Climate activist and Global icon Greta Thunberg today showed her support to the nationwide “postpone JEE NEET” movement in India. She reiterated that conducting exams during a global pandemic and extreme flood situation was “deeply unfair” on students.
Greta used the trending hashtag #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID” in her tweet to stand in solidarity with the students. The global activist has over 4.1 million followers on Twitter. On the microblogging
site “MODIJI_POSTPONEJEENEET” has already become a nationwide top trend. Activists and ministers from within the government and outside have also called for exams postponement.
While Greta who has just returned to school after a gap year of climate activism was met with huge support from young JEE NEET aspirants she also had to face a lot of backlash for her stand.
Check out Greta Thunberg tweet here:
It’s deeply unfair that students of India are asked to sit national exams during the Covid-19 pandemic and while millions have also been impacted by the extreme floods. I stand with their call to #PostponeJEE_NEETinCOVID
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) August 25, 2020
Social media has been abuzz with demands from students to postpone IIT and medical entrance exams after students highlighted their plight. Some of the states in the country have been badly hit by the ongoing floods that have affected thousands of lives. Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Chhattisgarh, Kerala, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Odisha, Uttar Pradesh and West Bengal are still reeling from the loss of life and property.
Ministers ask to postpone JEE NEET exams
Politicians and activists have also backed students ‘ addressing the state’s “unsafe” conditions due to COVID-19. They also highlighted that it would be “unjust” in the view of the floods.
“Students and parents are under enormous mental stress. Considering the current restrictions on public transportation, the allotted exam centers are not uniformly accessible to all aspirants,” DMK chief MK Stalin said in a letter to Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal.
Former Union Education Minister and senior Congress leader Kapil Sibal had also made similar arguments saying such an approach towards education was “elitist”. BJP leader Subramanyam Swami went a step ahead to compare going through NEET JEE exams with forced sterilisation in 1976.
If our Modi Government goes through imposing the NEET/JEE exam now it will be the giant mistake like Nasbandi in 1976 that caused the undoing of Indira government in 1977. Indian voters may suffer silently but have long memories.
— Subramanian Swamy (@Swamy39) August 24, 2020
Following multiple calls from ministers, Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik and West Bengal CM Mamta Banerjee have also written to the Prime Minister to postpone the exams.
The Supreme Court had previously quashed petitions seeking JEE NEET postponement quoting “life cannot be stopped”. While both JEE NEET exams were previously cancelled in May in view of the nationwide lockdown, the education Ministry has now scheduled the date on the first half of September.
India still ranks among the top 5 countries worst hit by the COVID-19 crisis. The number of fatalities has climbed up to 58,390 as of Tuesday.
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