Demand For NEET Centres In Kashmir; Admin Hopeful Of ‘Sympathetic’ MHRD View

SRINAGAR — With fear of recent thrashing and harassment to the Kashmiris lurking in their minds, students and their parents have urged governor administration to take up the issue with the government of India and ensure centres for NEET examination are set up in Kashmir Valley. 

Owais Aziz Wani, a resident of Muqami-e-Shahwali Kupwara, said that his centre is in Chandigarh and his precious time would be lost in travelling, finding accommodation and “there is mind disturbance due to recent happening”. He was alluding to recent harassment of Kashmiri student outside the Valley. 

“We have to arrange air ticket for him, manage accommodation, etc for him. While we will arrange the ticket etc but there is fear of harassment and if any untoward happens to him, we cannot bear it and the government should realize how difficult it would be for him and other Kashmiri students to write the exam,” Owais’s father told a local news agency.       

“Traveling outside Kashmir proves cumbersome and it all gets messed up which distracts students’ minds especially during last days of preparations. While we pay Rs 1500 as exam fee but we have to bear additional expenses around Rs 15000 for travelling by air and for accommodation,” Rashid Ahmad, a student from Srinagar said, adding, “Srinagar-Jammu highway condition is such that no student can risk travelling on it.” 

The students appealed to the governor administration to take up the matter with the National Testing Agency (NTA) which is the exam conducting body for NEET and other national level competitive exams and seek allotment of centres for Valley to avoid their traveling outside to appear in the exams scheduled next month. 

“The recent beating of students is still fresh in our minds and we are unable to concentrate on our studies. The situation is still not that good and there is no surety that the incidents of harassment are not repeated,” Basit Ahmad, a student from Budgam area said. “Even if nothing untoward happens with any student, the fear remains there.  In recent GATE examination, hundreds of aspirants from the Valley missed the exams as they failed to reach examination venues in stipulated time due to various reasons.” 

When contacted Advisor to Governor, Khurshid Ganai said that he and K.K. Sharma, another advisor to Governor have taken up with the MHRD the matter of shifting the NEET exam centers for the maximum number of examinees from the Valley from outside the state to Srinagar and that the Divisional Commissioner Kashmir has been asked to provide the requisite assistance in arranging more centers. “It is hoped that the concerned authorities in New Delhi responsible for the conduct of exam will take a sympathetic view,” Ganai said.

Meanwhile, observing that allotment of NEET centres in other states to aspirants from Kashmir valley is going to be very inconvenient, President Jammu and Kashmir Peoples Movement (JKPM), Shah Faesal Saturday sought intervention of Director General, National Testing Authority (NTA) and Union HRD Minister Prakash Javedkar to arrange adequate number of examination centres locally for the Kashmir based NEET aspirants. The exam is scheduled to begin from 5th of May.

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