Kolkata, Aug 28 (PTI) West Bengal education minister Partha Chatterjee on Friday said the Union government's decision to hold JEE (Main) and NEET in September, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, will expose over 25 lakh students in the country to health hazards.
Chatterjee, who was addressing a rally on the occasion of Trinamool Chhatra Parishad (TMCP) Foundation Day, also said that the decision will increase chances of virus transmission and put several lives at risk at a time when all states are striving hard to tide over the coronavirus crisis.
Six states, including West Bengal, on Friday moved the apex court seeking review of its order permitting the Centre to conduct NEET and JEE entrance exams in September.
The education minister, who is also the TMC secretary general, said the government is hopeful that the apex court would take the appeal into consideration.
All India Trinamool Youth Congress president Abhishek Banerjee alleged that the Narendra Modi government 'did not present a true picture' of the COVID-19 situation in the country to the Supreme Court.
He also sought to know why the Centre wasnt conducting the exams on any digital platform.
'Why can't you (Modi government) take help of new technology for conducting the exams, as you have always keep talking about the Digital India initiative? Or you can at least defer the exams by a few months. I understand that building the future of our students is important, but should you endanger the lives of 25 lakh students in this manner,' the TMC MP said in his address.
Pointing out that the COVID-19 caseload in India is increasing by around 80,000 every day, he wondered who would take responsibility if a student gets affected and his or her condition turns serious.
'Isn't human life more precious than everything else,' Banerjee said.
TMCP state president Trinankur Bhattacharya, who organised a sit-in on the occasion to protest against the Centre's decision, termed the move 'suicidal' and said the students' body 'cannot sit idle under the present circumstances'.
Not just students, a number of people are involved in the process of conducting an exam. That way, over 1 crore people will be at risk of contracting the disease,' he added.
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