Aspirants with last attempt at JEE this year should be allowed to appear in 2021: Students, parents write to Pokhriyal

Days after the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) decided to give aspirants who had tested positive for Covid-19 another shot at the Joint Entrance Examination, Advanced (JEE-Adv) in 2021, a delegation of students and parents have once again approached the Education minister Ramesh Pokhriyal seeking further relaxation in eligibility terms.

As per JEE rules, a student who clears class 12 is allowed three attempts at JEE Mains and two attempts at JEE-Adv. In their submission to Pokhriyal, students and parents have requested that students who had their last attempt at JEE exams this year should be granted a year’s concession and allowed to appear for their final attempt in 2021.

“This year, JEE exams (Mains and Advanced) were conducted in September instead of April-May, and of the 8.41 lakh registered candidates only 6.35 lakh students appeared for the JEE-Mains exam due to the fear of Covid-19,” states the letter addressed to Pokhriyal. “This shows that lakhs of students did not appear for the paper due to various reasons including lockdown and ban on local transport as well as the fear of Covid-19.”

In a statement released earlier this week, JAB relaxed the eligibility criteria for students by allowing an extra attempt to those who could not appear for JEE Adv this year due to their Covid-19 positive status.

“In an emergency virtual meeting on October 13, the JAB decided to consider relaxing eligibility criteria for students. It has also been decided to allow all candidates, who had successfully registered for the JEE Adv in 2020 and couldn’t appear for the paper after testing positive for Covid-19, to appear for JEE Adv 2021,” read the statement released by JAB.

However, in their submission to the state and central government, as well as IIT Kharagpur (which will conduct JEE-Adv 2021) students and parents have highlighted not only Covid-19 as the reason for students’ inability to appear for exams but also the flood situation in several parts of the country in September 2020.

Calling the current situation “extraordinary”, students and parents have requested that such students who had their last chance at both the exams in 2020, be allowed to attempt the paper in 2021 for the last time instead. “We hope the union Education ministry accepts this request, considering the current situation and the mental stress that students have been facing for the past few months,” said the letter.

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