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The Supreme Court shall hear the review plea filed by six states against its order allowing the Central Government to conduct medical and engineering entrance exams -Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Entrance Eligibility Test (NEET) on Friday.

The top court on 17 August had refused the plea for deferment of medical and engineering entrance exams in plea seeing directions for postponement and cancellation of the exams scheduled to be held in September.

Since Justice Arun Mishra has retired, who had passed the order being challenged, the new bench will be led by Justice Ashok Bhushan. The matter will be considered in Judges chamber as per rules.

Six state government ministers of Maharashtra, West Bengal, Jharkhand, Punjab, Rajasthan and Chhattisgarh had approached the apex court on 28 August seeking review of its 17 August order. These ministers belong to non-BJP ruled states and have filed a review petition in the apex court for postponement of JEE-NEET exams.

The states argued that the previous order fails to secure the safety, security and right to life of the students appearing for the exams. It also ignored the teething logistical difficulties in conducting the examinations at the proposed dates. The order failed to balance the competing, but equally important aspects of conducting the examination, and securing safety of the students, they added. They said the previous order fails to ensure mandatory safeguards are put in place during the conduct of the examinations.

The JEE-Main will be held from 1 to 6 September, while NEET exams for admission to undergraduate courses in medical colleges is scheduled for 13 September. JEE Advanced for the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) is scheduled for later in September.

On 17 August, the apex court bench headed by Justice Arun Mishra ordered for the dismissal of the petition and said “Career of students cannot be put under jeopardy for long."

Justice Mishra had said "Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all.... Education should be opened up. COVID may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait another year? Do you know what is the loss to the country and peril to the students."

On 27 August, over 150 academicians from various universities in India and abroad have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that delaying JEE-Mains and NEET any further will mean compromising the future of students.

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