(Eds: Recasts intro, adds inputs) Kolkata, Aug 25 (PTI) West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday requested Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the Centre should go in appeal against the Supreme Court order for holding the JEE and NEET examinations during the COVID-19 outbreak to ensure the aspirants are free from 'mental agony'.
She wrote to Modi after the state government received a letter from the National Testing Agency on Tuesday to conduct the JEE/NEET examinations starting from September 1, 2020.
'I am aware that the Hon'ble Supreme Court has given a verdict on holding JEE/NEET examinations and the central government has been issuing instructions to go ahead with it accordingly.
'However, I would like to request for your kind intervention and to consider the central government making an appeal to the Hon'ble apex court to review its decision in the interest of the student community, so that they are free from mental agony and mental disaster.
'Such intervention is very much essential in the larger interest of the students to facilitate creating a situation whereby the students will neither be subjected to grave health risk nor they will be facing a career risk,' Banerjee wrote in the letter that was also released to media.
'We are really worried and concerned,' she said.
Aspirants sit for Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for admission to premier engineering colleges and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for undergraduate medical courses.
Banerjee, in a series of tweets on Monday morning, said she was vocal about the issue during the last video conference of chief ministers with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
She had said that lives of students should not be put at risk by taking such 'unilateral and bureaucratic decisions'.
In her letter on Tuesday, she said 'I would request you to kindly appreciate the sensitivity of the matter and consider taking necessary action for posting these examinations until the public health situation becomes conducive again.' The JEE (Main) this year is scheduled to be held between September 1 and 6, while the JEE (Advanced) on September 27.
The Supreme Court had dismissed a plea seeking the postponement of JEE (Main) April, 2020 and NEET examinations despite the pandemic showing no signs of ebbing away, saying precious year of students 'cannot be wasted' and 'life has to go on'. PTI SCH KK SK SK