The Supreme Court on Monday said the NEET medical entrance exam and the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission into the IITs will proceed as per schedule. The Apex Court had dismissed a petition submitted by 11 students requesting to defer the exams due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis. "The careers of students cannot be put under jeopardy", the top court said about the two exams scheduled to be held in September. 

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court headed by Justice Arun Mishra said, "Life cannot be stopped. We have to move ahead with all safeguards and all... Are students ready to waste one whole year? Education should be opened up. Covid may continue for a year more. Are you going to wait another year? Do you know what the loss to the country and peril to the students is?,".

In their petition, 11 students from 11 different states requested authorities to organize the exams once the COVID-19 outbreak is resolved and the situation around the country is restored to normalcy. They had also appealed for the number of examination centres for NEET and JEE across the country to be increased. 

Advocate Alakh Alok Srivastava filed the plea on behalf of the students stating, "Conducting the aforesaid examination across India at such perilous time, is nothing else but putting lives of lakhs of young students (including petitioners herein) at utmost risk and danger of disease and death. The best recourse at this stage can be to wait for some more time, let COVID-19 crisis subside and then only conduct these exams, in order to save the lives of the students and their parents,".

Representing the National Testing Agency (NTA), Solicitor General Tushar Mehta, told the Supreme Court that all necessary precautions will be taken and protocols will be adhered to in regard to conducting the exams in a safe manner. The JEE Main exams are scheduled to take place from September 1 to 6, while the NEET exam is scheduled to begin on September 13. More than 9 lakh students have applied for the JEE Main exams, while nearly 16 lakh students are registered to apply for NEET.