Union Human Resources Development (HRD) Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Tuesday announced that there would be no hike in fees for the IIT (Indian Institute of Technology), IIIT (Indian Institute of Information Technology) and NIT (National Institute of Technology) for the academic year 2020-21. Nishank also announced the dates for NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) and IIT JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) Main. Interacting with students across the country through webinar, the minister said that the NEET examination would be held on 26 July, while JEE Main exam will be held on 18, 20, 21, 22 and 23 July. Regarding UGC NET and pending CBSE XII Board examinations, he said that the dates would be announced soon. The dates for IIT JEE (Advanced) may be held in August, he added. While responding to a query relating to fee hike for NITs, IITs and IIITs for academic year 2020-21, the minister said that there will be no fees increase for this academic year.
On the concerns raised by students relating to Board examinations, Nishank clarified that the Board will conduct examinations for only main subjects which will be required for promotion and maybe crucial for admissions in higher educational institutions. He informed that exams for Class X are over all over the country, except North-East Delhi and adequate time of 10 days will be given to all stakeholders before starting the examinations. The minister also clarified to the students of North-East Delhi that there is no need to reappear in these examinations if one has already appeared. These exams will be conducted again for those few students who could not appear in these exams on the scheduled date due to the impact of law and order issues on them. He said that the government is planning to tackle the academic loss of students during the lockdown period.
As a response to Covid-19 lockdown, CBSE will assess the loss of instructional time for proportionate reduction in curriculum load for the Board exams next year (2021). In accordance, Course Committees of the Board have initiated work on reduced syllabus in various scenarios. During the one-hour interaction, the minister responded to the various concerns and queries of the students relating to school examinations, entrance examinations, academic calendar, online education, fees, mental health of students, international students, fellowships, among others. He said that the students must remain calm and focused on studies. Replying to queries, Nishank said his ministry is planning to bridge the academic gap created due to the Covid outbreak. “MHRD has encouraged students to keep on learning and to aid the learning through various elearning resources and digital platforms for both school and higher education,” he said. He also informed students about the alternative calendar for the primary, upper primary and secondary stages. Nishank asked the students preparing for entrance examination to access lectures on Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology on the official website of the National Testing Agency at the link https:// nta.ac.in/LecturesContent.
He also said that the various platforms of the MHRD can be used for preparing for entrance exams, which include Swayamprabha DTH channel, IIT PAL of SWAYAMPRABHA, DIKSHA, E pathshala, National Digital Library, SWAYAM, e-PG Pathshala, Shodhganga, e-ShodhSindhu, e-Yantra, Spoken Tutorial and Virtual Labs. Talking about migration of students of Navodaya Vidyalayas to their respective states, the minister informed that the migration process for all schools is being pursued. He informed that out of 173 schools, more than 62 have initiated the process. Students on movement are given sanitizers, masks, small soaps and snacks.