22,000 sign online petition to postpone GATE exam in view of Covid-19 situation

The online petition that started last week, and was signed by 22,680 students by Tuesday afternoon.

Over 22,000 candidates have endorsed an online petition demanding that Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE), which is scheduled to be held between February 5 to February 13 in offline format, should be postponed in view of rising cases of Covid-19.

Gate exam
GATE is conducted for admission to various postgraduate courses in science and engineering. Many PSUs also use its score in their recruitment process. It is jointly organised by Indian Institute of Science (IISc) Bangalore and 7 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) at Bombay, Delhi, Guwahati, Kanpur, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee on behalf of National Coordination Board (NCB)-GATE, department of higher education, ministry of education.

IIT Kharagpur is the organising body for GATE 2022 and over 8 lakh candidates are expected to take the exam.

The online petition that started last week, signed by 22,680 students by Tuesday afternoon, stated, “With the current third wave, Covid-19 due to its new variant Omicron has spread severely in several states, cities. Several studies including one done by IIT Kanpur predict that the peak of the 3rd wave is expected in early February and the wave will end by April. Therefore the peak is most likely to coincide with the usual exam dates of GATE.”

“If the exam dates are not postponed, the candidates appearing for GATE 2022 run an imminent risk of getting infected and spreading it thereby getting threat to their life as well as their family member's lives…On behalf of the GATE participants who have signed this petition, I request you to postpone the GATE 2022 exam dates to a safer date in the month of April,” it added.

Despite several attempts, IIT-Kharagpur didn’t respond to the emails sent for a comment. A senior official at the ministry of education said, “There is no talk about postponing the exam. The exam will be held with taking all precautionary measures and a large majority of the population is already vaccinated against Covid-19 infection. Postponing the exam will put the careers of lakhs of students at stake.”