Amid the row over conducting the JEE and NEET exams, Kanpur police busted a betting and gambling racket which allegedly placed bets on whether the exams will be conducted as scheduled or postponed. Police have arrested seven people but the racket's kingpin has managed to escape. Apart from the exams, the seven arrested were also placing bets on the numbers of the stock markets.
"We have busted a betting-gambling racket and arrested 7 people on Friday. We have recovered Rs 38.25 Lakhs cash, 10 mobile phones and a register from their repossession. Racket's kingpin managed to escape. It was found that they were also placing bets on NEET-JEE exams -if exams will be held or not," Superintendent of Kanpur Police (South) Deepak Bhuker said while addressing a press conference.
"They used to place bets on the last two digits of closing and opening of the market. Racket's kingpin Santosh Soni managed to escape. He used to run the racket through WhatsApp. They were into this for the past 4 years. We are also checking their call detail record (CDR) for further investigation," he added.
Even as the Opposition has been vehemently holding protests demanding the postponement of the exams due to COVID-19 threat, the Centre is of the opinion that they have already been postponed twice in view of the pandemic and any further delay would be playing with the future of the students. Hence, the Centre has decided to go ahead with the exams as scheduled. Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank on Thursday stated that the career of students was the first priority for the Union government. He maintained that one year of the students should not be wasted. Moreover, he quoted the Supreme Court order which found no merit in postponing the JEE and NEET exams.
While the Centre is facing criticism from the Opposition for conducting JEE Mains and NEET in view of the rising COVID-19 cases, over 100 academicians from various universities in India and abroad have written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, saying that delaying the medical and engineering entrance exams any further will mean compromising the future of students.
Pokhriyal added that the Union Health Secretary had written to top administrative officials in states to ensure that the safety of candidates is given paramount importance. Additionally, he hailed the guidelines issued by the National Testing Agency for preventing the spread of COVID-19. Around 9.53 lakh candidates have registered for JEE-Main examination which will be held between September 1 to 6, while the NEET examination is scheduled for September 13 for which 15.97 lakh students have registered.
(With ANI inputs)