On September 8, Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan slammed Congress leader Rahul Gandhi for trying to stir up protests against the government of India to postpone the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) that is scheduled for September 12, 2021. In his tweet, Gandhi had written, “GOI is blind to students’ distress. Postpone #NEET exam. Let them have a fair chance.”
.@RahulGandhi perceives himself to be an expert on everything without having an iota of knowledge.— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) September 8, 2021
Overflowing vanity & misplaced sense of entitlement of a failed crown prince is no alibi to meddle into the schedule of examinations, give undue stress & make the students suffer. https://t.co/xniWpcxWox
Pradhan quoted Gandhi and said, “Rahul Gandhi perceives himself to be an expert on everything without having an iota of knowledge. Overflowing vanity & misplaced sense of entitlement of a failed crown prince is no alibi to meddle into the schedule of examinations, give undue stress & make the students suffer.”
Pradhan further added that the Supreme Court of India already refused to entertain pleas to reschedule the exam and questioned what made Gandhi an expert on the issue. He said, “Even the Hon’ble Supreme Court has not entertained the plea to reschedule the #NEET examination citing the deferment as being unfair to a large number of students. What makes Rahul Gandhi the ‘pseudo expert’ question the collective wisdom of the bench and actual experts?”
Yuvraj should stick to his expertise of concocting lies, peddling half-truths and being the antagonist to anything progressive, rather than issuing sweeping statements on matters he has no understanding of.— Dharmendra Pradhan (@dpradhanbjp) September 8, 2021
He asked Gandhi not to interfere in matters that he had no understanding of. He said, “Yuvraj should stick to his expertise of concocting lies, peddling half-truths and being the antagonist to anything progressive, rather than issuing sweeping statements on matters he has no understanding of.”
The issue of NEET exams
National Testing Agency (NTA) has scheduled NEET-UG 2021 for September 12, 2021. NEET has been delayed due to the pandemic situation in the country. A section of students and parents had objected to the date and demanded to postpone the exams.
Supreme Court declines to entertain a petition seeking orders to relevant authorities for rescheduling or deferring the NEET UG- 2021 exam pic.twitter.com/RWLGtc2eRg— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2021
A group of students and parents had submitted a plea in the Supreme Court to get the exam postponed. A bench comprising Justice AM Khanwilkar, justice Hrishikesh Roy and justice CT Ravikumar refused to entertain the plea and said if the students want to appear in multiple exams, they have to prioritise and make a choice for which exam they would want to appear. The court added that there might never be a situation where all students would be satisfied with the date of the exams.
The court, however, allowed the petitioners to make a representation before the competent authorities on the issue that can decide on the dates as per the law. The bench further told the counsel representing the students, “The arguments which you (counsel for petitioners) are canvassing may not be relevant for 99 per cent candidates. For one per cent candidates, the entire system cannot be put on hold.”
As per the report published in ANI, around 25,000 students were scheduled to appear in improvement or compartment exams for class 12, the bench noted that only one per cent of the students are expected to opt for these exams. The counsel, however, claimed that NEET should be postponed as many other exams were scheduled on or around September 12, not only compartment or improvement exams.
The court said, “If you are to appear in multiple examinations, then you need to make a choice. You have to prioritise. You must also be conscious that any deferment is likely to clash with some other examination.” The court refused to interfere in the functioning of different boards and said that it would allow them to do their job. The court said if it postponed NEET, it might affect the next course, and everything would get prolonged.
Several groups had tried to postpone NEET last year too
In 2020 too, several groups and political leaders had tried to postpone the NEET and JEE exams. Rahul Gandhi was one of them. Others included Mamata Banerjee, MK Stalin, Aaditya Thackeray and Subramanian Swamy. Co-ordinated protests, hiring professional ‘protestors’ like the propped up ‘child activist’ Licypriya, were planned in Delhi to demand the postponement of NEET.