KOCHI: The Kerala High Court on Wednesday ordered the union government to facilitate travel of Indian students in the Middle East to India to attend Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced to be held on September 27th. The exam is for admissions to IITs.
Justice PV Asha issued the order after Joint Admission Board, which is the body that conducts the examination, informed the court on Wednesday that it cannot take a favourable decision on the court’s suggestion for restoring the examination centre in Dubai, UAE.
Along with ordering the central government to facilitate travel for candidates appearing for JEE Advanced exam from the Middle East, the court also said in its order that it hopes the respective state governments will exclude the candidates and those accompanying them from COVID-19 quarantine restrictions.
The court issued the directions after petitioners’ counsel Haris Beeran submitted that hundreds of students have to travel to India from the Middle East due to the decision to revoke the examination centre in Dubai. They also have to attend the entrance examination being conducted by BITS-Pilani within a few days after the JEE Advanced exam and imposing quarantine restrictions would result in students not being able to attend the BITS-Pilani exam.
Revocation of the exam centre in Dubai was questioned in two petitions (WP-C No.s 18224 and 17336 of 2020) filed by parents of candidates through advocate OA Nuriya. Central government had contended that the issue is similar to NEET exam, in which the high court division bench and the Supreme Court held that the decision of an expert body, to not allot foreign centres, cannot be interfered with.
Advocate Haris Beeran had submitted that no foreign centre was allotted in the case of NEET whereas in the case of JEE Advanced, foreign centre already allotted has been cancelled citing inability of two personnel to travel, forcing over a hundred candidates and their parents to travel.
While asking the central government to explore a solution, the court had said it is fully aware of the judgments of the high court and the Supreme Court but even then the government can do something.