Breaking the impasse and building consensus in the present scenario looks grim, given the brewing hostilities between the Centre and the states. It all began with the GST compensation — for long, the Centre has not cleared the longstanding GST dues, leaving aside the pandemic situation for a while. Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman believes the pandemic to be an Act of God that has impacted and influenced Centre-state relations, haunting the prospects and spirit of cooperative federalism where both the sides have become cynical and suspicious of the other.
In this way, how can they conduct daily functions, processes and procedures of policymaking and governance? I have my reservations — for to nourish and nurture governance will require close coordination, cooperation and collaboration of the state along with the Centre. Ideally, the Centre should have negotiated and deliberated with the states before announcing the dates of NEET and JEE exams. This would have surely benefited the states by making them swing into action. They could have at least arranged and mobilised basic facilities for the students taking up these examinations, but they didn’t, and many states began to back out, given the stubbornness of the Centre.
The Centre should have tried to conduct these exams somewhere in late October. Don’t forget that the Centre postponed the CLAT examination to 28th September, owing to the pressure from all sides. As the possibility of postponement of NEET and JEE examinations looks bleak, states should gear up to the occasion. Be it for Covid-19 testing or isolation centre, the states should do as much as possible from their end, leaving aside their political differences.
The governments have the basic responsibility of fine lining their efforts in the best of the interests of students, making consensus building is but a necessity and not a choice at this given point of time. Don’t get pushed and dragged into friction of any kind as it won’t do good to any of us at any cost.