Synopsis: A Division Bench, today, said that the NTA would consider such applications and decide accordingly after checking the veracity of the same applications.
The Bombay High Court’s Nagpur bench on Tuesday, refused to stay the JEE-Main exam, but said any student residing in flood-hit parts of the Vidarbha region of Maharashtra who can not reach the exam centre or reaches late can apply to the National Testing Agency to seek a re-exam.
A Division Bench of Justices Ravi Deshpande and Pushpa Ganediwala said the National Testing Agency ( NTA) will consider such applications and decide accordingly within 15 days after it has checked their veracity. The engineering Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Main began at 9 am across the country on Tuesday.
In several districts, the situation is grim because of floods. Students should not suffer for no fault on their part, the bench said. The court said any aggrieved student could file an application with the NTA through their centre coordinator. After consulting the district collector concerned, the National Testing Agency shall then decide on the application within 15 days, the court ordered.
Appearing for the NTA, Assistant Solicitor General Ulhas Aurangabadkar, told the high court that the agency will consider any application submitted by a student who was unable to appear for the exam due to the flood situation or transport problem. Earlier, Monday’s high court acknowledged a letter written to it by Nitesh Bawankar, a resident of the Bhandara district of Maharashtra, raising concerns about how students will arrive at the JEE exam centres to appear in the flood situation.
Bawankar sought to postpone the exam for students residing in the flood-hit areas of the districts of Nagpur, Amravati, Akola, Chandrapur, Bhandara, Gondia and Gadchiroli.
Students from these areas will find it hard to appear for the JEE-Main exam due to floods, he said.
On Tuesday, collector Gadchiroli told HC that inter-district transport is affected due to heavy rains and flood and the situation may remain unchanged for a few more days.
Under such a condition, the NTA would be the appropriate authority to decide on postponing the exam for flood-affected students, the collector said.
Nagpur collector told the court that there were 1,284 students going to the exam in six district centres and there was no flood-like situation there.
Akola collector also told the court that there would be no hurdle in conducting the exam there, as there is no flood-like situation in the district.
A similar submission was made by the collector Amravati. Chandrapur collector told the court that 21 villages were affected by flood in the district and rescue teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) enquired at local levels if there were any students who needed to appear for the JEE-Main exam, but no response was received at the local level if there were any students who needed to attend the JEE-Main exam.
He also said that at the Chandrapur district headquarters there are four examination centres that are not affected by flooding and are therefore accessible by road.
Collectors of Bhandara and Gondia told the court that while their districts were hit hardest by heavy rain and water from the Sanjay Sarovar dam in Madhya Pradesh, there were no JEE-Main examination centres in both thes districts.
They submitted that candidates appearing for the examination shall have road accessibility to Nagpur and will not face any problem in appearing for the exam.
The court on Monday ordered the Centre, Maharashtra government, NTA, and collectors of these districts to consider postponing the JEE-Main exam for students who reside in flood-affected areas and are unable to reach the centres for the exam to appear.