Today, the entire nation is divided into two groups. One group demands cancellation of the upcoming NEET and JEE exams, while the other group supports the government and says the exams should happen as per the schedule. And amidst all this drama, the students look completely confused about their career.
Or, the students are deliberately being made confused? Why and what could be the agenda?
Its all about the vote bank
Well, as per an estimate, around 28 lakh students are expected to appear for the two exams across India. And, all these students are the first time voters, i.e. all these students are in the age group of 17 to 19 years. That means they would be eligible to vote in the upcoming elections in India. So, these students combined with their parents form a huge vote bank for any political party, large enough to swing the vote percentage in one party’s favor.
Honestly, if it would have been all about saving the students from coronavirus infections, these protesters would not have gathered in such big numbers across India defining all the social distancing norms. Isn’t it? Clearly, it is not about coronavirus, but the vote bank.
Students should not lose a year
In an answer to the question asked on March 20, 2020, in Lok Sabha, Health and Family Welfare Minister, Shri Ashwini Kumar Choubey, had revealed that a total of 82,926 MBBS seats are offered by 541 medical colleges (278 government and 263 private) including All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS) and Jawaharlal Nehru Institute of Medical Education and Research (JIPMER). Similarly, there are around 39,425 seats being offered by around 1,649 engineering colleges across India. This means that those 28 lakh students are competing for a total of 1,22,351 seats. This comes roughly around 28 students for one seat. Assuming a similar number of students would compete next year as well, this will make 56 students fighting for one seat! If that happens, it will be tougher for students to get admissions in their desired institutions. Also, as more students will fail to qualify, the chances of getting depressed and taking extreme steps also doubles.
So, the question is, why so much risk? Just because there is coronavirus out there! The reasoning is not logical. India as a nation is in its fourth stage of unlocking the markets. Under Unlock 4.0, even gyms, malls, cinema halls, public transports, and many other facilities are being brought back to normal operations. So, when every other activity can be performed, why the students cannot give exams?
State government must ensure safety of every student
There are many states that are demanding more relaxation in the Unlock policies by the Ministry of Home Affairs and the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare. Semi-states like Delhi is about to start operations of the Delhi Metro. It has already started the Weekly markets. CM Arvind Kejriwal has, on records, said that the spread of coronavirus is very much under control and the government wants to come back to its normal days. If that is the case, why the same reasoning cannot work for conducting exams?
Moreover, India has a federal structure and the law and order is a state subject in India. Therefore, every state government must ensure all the safety and services to the students who want to appear for the NEET-JEE exams. These state governments cannot pass on the responsibility to the central government, the way it did during the migrant workers’ crisis.
Fortunately, in India, the general public has gained maturity over the years. They now understand what is beneficial for them and what is not. They know how to differentiate between a reform and an agenda. This protest for canceling the NEET and JEE exams is an agenda run primarily by some of the political parties having vested interest. They are not at all concerned about the lives of the students. For them, it is all about how to lure the vote bank in their favor.
Therefore, the students who are going to appear for these exams should only concentrate on their studies and try to give their best to secure their seats. For a student, evey year matters.