Naveen Patnaik: Beacon of Love and Kindness

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Bhubaneswar: For Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, the development and welfare of the youth has always been at the forefront. All the schemes and programs of the Government of Odisha have a tilt towards this. He has always been benevolent towards the cause of young generation and has been striving to make them stronger and self-reliant. The recent issues related to the conduct of JEE Main and NEET Exams 2020 in the country amidst the prevalence of the Covid-19 pandemic have again showed that the youth need to be handled compassionately and carefully.

For the greater good of the candidates, the Chief Minister called upon the Center to postpone the exams and reschedule them to a later date. In his letter written to the Union Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank, Naveen urged for the cancellation of the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) and National Eligibility cum Entrance Exam (NEET) in view of the Covid-19 pandemic He also demanded the National Testing Agency (NTA) to open exam centres in all 30 districts of the state. He even spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to convince him that it’s not the time for exams. The prevailing pandemic and the flood like situation in the state could mar the prospects of the candidates and negate the cause of the national level exams.

Students along with their parents/guardians board the bus from Malkangiri for appearing for NEET_JEE exams at Bhubaneswar, Berhampur and Balasore

With the exams being held as scheduled in the first two weeks of September, the Chief Minister ordered for all help to the thousands of candidates. He also ordered that the state government will make all arrangements for the transportation and accommodation of the students and their parents if required by them. The district administrations were active enough and Nodal Centers were set up immediately to help the students and parents.

This swift decision by the Chief Minister towards helping the candidates shows how much importance he gives to them. At a time when the youth is fighting the pandemic and there are lockdown woes, the exams stress can have a negative impact on their mental condition and lead to stress. It could also have a negative impact on the outcome of the exams.

The decision to lift shutdown and lockdown in the state during the exam times for free movement of candidates is the right decision that solved a major hurdle for the candidates and their parents. In order to minimize the stress among the candidates and provide them with the required succor, the administrations have also been ordered to make facilities for the accommodation and transportation of the candidates and their parents to the exam centers. This is the most important decision taken by the government that is going to surely help the students and release their mental stress.

For the first time ever in the country, that a state government has taken onto itself the responsibility to provide transportation and accommodation to the students on a large scale. While more than 37 thousand students will appear for the JEE Main and NEET exams in 27 centers across 7 cities of the state, all facilities have been made on the ground. The candidates from the far flung areas of the state especially the tribal aspirants from the hilly terrains will be benefitted much with this decision.

Naveen’s decision to provide the much needed transportation and accommodation facilities have been well appreciated from different walks. According to Aditya Bikram Choudhury, a JEE aspirant from Nabarangpur, whose exam center is in Bhubaneswar, the decision has come as a surprise for him. He was very worried about writing the exams as there were lockdown restrictions on movement of vehicles. Now that the government has facilitated the transport, he heaved a sigh of relief.

For Mr K C Sahu, an Army Personnel posted in Assam, the worry was the transportation and accommodation of his ward in Bhubaneswar where he is going to write the JEE Main Exams. But the decision of the government for free and safe transportation and accommodation has come as a big surprise for him. He is no more worried for his son’s exams.

The decision has also come as handy for the Coaching Centers. As there was lockdown and shutdown in many areas, there was no accommodation facilities in the cities where the students write the exams. All the hotels are closed for the pandemic. According to Sudhir Kumar Raut, a teacher and coaching center owner, “it is a magnanimous step by the Chief Minister to extend all help to the JEE MAINS and NEET aspirants.”

“Odisha being in the throes of the Pandemic, the students were in quandary due to the uncertainty of the exam and the impending problem they would have faced in reaching the exam centre. The declaration by the CS was a great relief to them.”

The government has made transport and accommodation provisions for all and girls with their parents will be provided all facilities. According to Mandakini Sahu, whose daughter is going to write the NEET Exams in Rourkela, “I was worried about my daughters accommodation facilities in Rourkela as all the hotels are closed due to pandemic. Now that the government has come forward to help us, I myself will accompany my daughter to the exam center. I thank our Chief Minister for his timely action.

Even Odisha-Mo Parivar, the brainchild of the Chief Minister, has come forward to help the students in many ways. Nodal officers and volunteers of Odisha-Mo Parivar team have been deputed at all 26 exams centres of state. One volunteer per 50 candidates is earmarked to assist the district administration, deans, principals of ITIs, nodal contact persons. The Mo-Parivar team will help the government in several ways, such as arranging food and accommodation, providing sanitizer and masks to the candidates.

Besides making all arrangements for all facilities at the government level, the Chief Minister has also directed the Odisha-Mo Parivar, the apolitical social service wing to provide all types of help to the candidates and their parents.

Even Odisha-Mo Parivar, the brainchild of the Chief Minister, has come forward to help the students in many ways. Nodal contact persons and volunteers of Odisha-Mo Parivar have been deputed at all 26 exams centres of state. One volunteer per 50 candidates is earmarked to assist the district administration, deans, principals of ITIs, nodal contact persons. The Mo-Parivar team will help the government in several ways, such as providing water, biscuits, sanitizer and masks to the candidates.

Besides making all arrangements for all facilities at the government level, the Chief Minister has also directed the Odisha-Mo Parivar, the apolitical social service wing to provide all types of help to the candidates and their parents.

For a true leader like Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who is always working for the betterment of the people, youth come first. He has been the advocate of youth empowerment and development. This is only one among the actions that are aimed at fulfilling the aspirations of its citizens. With good governance and welfare of the people in mind, we definitely look forward to a bright future for the young generations.

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