With just days to go for the NEET and JEE (Main) exams being conducted amid coronavirus pandemic, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Wednesday directed State Advocate General Atul Nanda to coordinate with his counterparts in other Opposition ruled states for filing a collective review petition in the Supreme Court seeking deferment of the examinations.
The directive followed a Video Conference of the meeting convened by Congress President Sonia Gandhi with the chief ministers of seven Opposition-ruled states to discuss this and other issues of common concern, including delay in GST compensation release and the farm Ordinances by the Government of India, as well as the New Education Policy, which Captain Amarinder said was thrust on the states without consultation.
There was no time to seek time from the Prime Minister to discuss the issue, said Captain Amarinder in response to a suggestion to this effect. “Let us all get together to move the Supreme Court for postponement of the exams, which are threatening the lives of lakhs of students,” he said. Pointing out that world over, exams were being held online, he suggested that the JEE/NEET and other professional exams like Medical and Law could also be held online and there was no need to put the students at risk.
Noting that what the states were seeking was not the moon but their own dues, the Chief Minister also suggested that a delegation of all the Opposition ruled chief ministers should meet the Prime Minister to press for the release of GST compensation and financial assistance to fight COVID. “We have given all the powers of taxation to him through the GST, and now they say they may not be able to pay. So how do we run our states?,” he said, calling upon the Opposition-ruled states to work together and fight together for their rights.
The Chief Minister also disclosed that his government would be setting up a committee soon to assess the impact of the New Education Policy on the state’s education system and finances. Every state has its own system, which the Government of India failed to take into account before announcing the policy, he said.