The Students’ Federation of India (SFI), the student wing of the CPI(M), on Wednesday urged the West Bengal government to withdraw the state-wide lockdown on September 12 in view of the NEET (UG) exam being held on September 13. The request was made so that the students do not face any problem while travelling to their examination centres from far-flung areas.

The Mamata Banerjee-led Trinamool Congress (TMC) government had declared lockdown in the state on September 7, 11 and 12.

The lockdown will pose as an inconvenience for a large number of National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) candidates in reaching their exam centres from far-flung areas on September 13, Students’ Federation of India (SFI) state committee president Pratik ur Rahman said in a statement on Wednesday.

“We request the state government to withdraw the September 12 lockdown as the candidates are already faced with a lot of stress due to the pandemic situation. The lockdown will further aggravate their woes as the number of vehicles will be fewer on roads,” it said.

The SFI said if the authorities cannot withdraw the September 12 lockdown, they should at least arrange special trains for the candidates on the exam date.

A large number of candidates had faced difficulty in reaching the exam centres during the JEE (Main) examination held from September 1-6.

Over 15 lakh candidates have registered for NEET exam 2020 which is scheduled to be held on September 13. As per NTA officials, 15.97 lakh candidates from across the country have registered for NEET, which is a pen-paper based test.

The National Testing Agency (NTA) had also requested state governments to extend support in local movement of the candidates so that they are able to reach their examination centres on time.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court on Wednesday had dismissed a fresh batch of petitions seeking postponement of NEET (UG) exam 2020 scheduled for September 13.

A bench headed by Justice Ashok Bhushan had said that authorities will take all necessary steps for conducting the NEET-undergraduate exam amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Earlier, On August 17, the Supreme Court had junked the petition seeking deferment of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and gave a green signal for the conduct of examinations scheduled to be held in September 2020.

The top court had refused to interfere with the conduct of the medical and engineering entrance exams, saying that life must go on and students can’t lose a precious year due to the pandemic.

The NEET-UG was originally scheduled for May 3, but was pushed to July 26 and then scheduled for September 13.

(With agency inputs)

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