JEE, NEET to National Recruitment Agency: Key takeaways for students, job seekers from President’s speech

From the engineering and medicine entrance exams to the National Recruitment Agency to conduct a common recruitment test for government jobs, President Ram Nath Kovind in his address to a joint sitting of two houses of Parliament has highlighted several points for students and job seekers across the country.

President applauded the government for conducting the entrance exams despite the pandemic. This, he remarked, has saved an academic year for students across the country. “Ever sensitive towards safeguarding the interests of the students, my Government has also successfully conducted the JEE and NEET examinations in order to prevent the loss of an academic year,” said Kovind.

The exams were held despite protests from a section of students for the academic year 2020. This year, the entrances and board exams have all been delayed due to the pandemic. While the exam dates of JEE Main have been announced along with the relaxation of doubling the number of attempts for the exam, the dates for NEET 2021 are anticipated. It is reported that the Education Ministry is in talks with the Ministry of Health to contemplate conducting the medical exam twice a year.

He also acknowledged the New Education Policy (NEP) 2020, “Keeping in mind the global requirements and challenges of the 21st century, the Government has announced the National Education Policy. For the first time students have been given the freedom to opt for the subjects of their choice under the National Education Policy. Students have also been provided the option of changing their subjects or streams in the middle of a course.”

Read | NEET 2021 to have more internal choices, no syllabus cut: Education Ministry

The government, said the President, will focus on making education more inclusive, especially for economically and socially deprived communities. “Journey of the most deprived sections towards social and economic development begins with access to quality education”, he said.

More than 3.20 crore such students are benefitting from various scholarship schemes of the government. These include students belonging to the scheduled castes, backward classes, forest-dwellers, and tribal community and minority communities. The Central Government’s share in the funding of post matric scholarship scheme for scheduled castes students is also being enhanced. Further, the network of Ekalavya Model Residential Schools is being expanded to cover every tribal dominated block to facilitate the education of tribal students. So far, more than 550 such schools have been sanctioned, informed the President.

The youth have benefitted greatly from discontinuation of interviews for recruitment to Group C and Group D posts. By setting up the National Recruitment Agency, the government has freed the youth from the inconvenience of appearing for multiple examinations, said President Kovind. It is an effort in “simplifying and streamlining the recruitment process for jobs”, according to the President.

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