Sonia Gandhi, Mamata call meeting of CMs to demand postponement of NEET, JEE

Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee and Congress interim president Sonia Gandhi have jointly convened a meeting of chief ministers of non-Bharatiya Janata Party ruled states on Wednesday afternoon to demand postponement of the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) to be held in September.

The virtual meeting will take place at 2.30 pm on Wednesday, a top TMC leader close to the Bengal chief minister told HT on Tuesday night.

“Chief ministers of all non-BJP ruled states have been invited. Kerala chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan has informed that he will not be able to attend as he has to attend to some urgent business,” said the TMC leader who is involved in arranging the meeting.

Those who will attend include Punjab chief minister Amarinder Singh, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren, Chhattisgarh chief minister Bhupesh Baghel and Puducherry Chief Minister V Narayanasamy, said the TMC leader.

In back to back appeals on Monday and Tuesday, Banerjee urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to postpone the examinations, saying students would be exposed to risk if they travel during the Covid-19 pandemic.

“In our last video conference with Hon’ble PM Shri @narendramodi Ji, I had been vocal against the UGC guidelines mandating completion of terminal examinations in Universities/Colleges by the end of September 2020, which had a huge potential to put student lives at risk,” Banerjee tweeted on Monday.

“Now with the directive of @EduMinOfIndia to conduct NEET, JEE 2020 in Sep, I would again appeal to the Centre to assess the risk and postpone these examinations until the situation is conducive again. It is our duty to ensure a safe environment for all our students,” she said in a second tweet.

Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury, leader of the Congress in the Lok Sabha, also wrote to the Prime Minster on Sunday urging him to postpone the examinations.

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