JEE, NEET postponed again, new academic calendar pushed further: Here is expected timeline

After days of uncertainly over the entrance exams for admission into engineering and medical courses, Union Human Resources Development Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Friday announced that JEE and NEET examinations, scheduled for July, have been postponed till September in view of the spike in COVID-19 cases.

Nishank had on Thursday said that a committee consisting of experts, including from the National Testing Agency (NTA), had been asked to submit its recommendations latest by Friday. The decision was to postpone both JEE and NEET was taken on the recommendations of the four-member committee.

Here are the new dates of JEE and NEET:

JEE(Main): September 1-6

JEE(Advanced): September 27

NEET: September 13

When will new academic calendar begin?

Further delay in the entrance exam is likely to impact the academic calendar.

The counselling for the two crucial exams can only begin in October and freshers may begin classes by November end or December first week, sources said.

However, a definite plan on the new academic calendar has not been drawn yet, they said.

‘Safety and academic welfare of students top priority’

Pokhriyal said the government’s top priority during this epidemic is to ensure safety and academic welfare of students.

“We will ensure that while conducting the examination, we strictly follow the guidelines given by the Ministry of Home Affairs and Health Ministry so that students are kept away from the grip of this epidemic,” he said.

“Keeping in mind the safety of students and to ensure quality education we have decided to postpone JEE and NEET examinations,” Pokhriyal said.

The minister said that social distancing will also be followed in the examination centres and all other precautionary arrangements will also be made. Pokhriyal advised all the students to remove all kinds of stress from their minds and pay attention to their studies.

The National Testing Agency has prepared a testing App for all the candidates through which students can complete their preparations, he further said.

The Joint Entrance Examination (Main) for engineering courses was scheduled to be held from July 18-23 this year. It earlier scheduled for April but were postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

JEE-Advanced, conducted for admission to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), was scheduled for August 23.

The National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-Under Graduate (NEET-UG) on the other hand had been scheduled for July 26. NEET 2020 was earlier to be held on May 3.

Both the exams are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Together, nearly 25 lakh candidates are registered appear for the two entrance exams.

The decision was taken after students across the country had been asking the MHRD and the NTA to clarify the ambiguity regarding holding of the two exams in July. The rise in coronavirus cases across the country also created fear among students.

The demand gathered further pace after the remaining CBSE and ICSE Board examinations for classes X and XII, scheduled to be held in July, were cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.