Abhishek slams PM over holding NET exams on Durga Puja days
Kolkata: Trinamool Congress MP Abhishek Banerjee criticised Prime Minister Narendra Modi for his "blatant disrespect for the students and culture of Bengal" as the National Testing Agency (NTA) decided to hold UGC National Eligibility Test (NET) examinations coinciding with the Durga Puja days.
Protesting against such a decision, Banerjee on Saturday tweeted: "Narendra Modi Ji's blatant disrespect for the students and culture of Bengal is out in the open!"
"What a ridiculous decision by NTA to schedule UGC NET exams on the auspicious days of Panchami, Shashti and Saptami, this Durga Puja," the Trinamool Congress Parliamentarian further stated in his tweet.
UGC NET is held twice a year and NTA conducts NET on behalf of the University Grants Commission (UGC) and the Council of Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR). It is usually held once in December and again in June for selection of Assistant Professors and for awarding Junior Research Fellowship (JRF).
This year, the examination in June could not be held due to the pandemic situation. So it was initially scheduled to be held from September 16. The dates were rescheduled from September 24 as the previous dates were clashing with the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) examinations.
But the new schedule has been prepared "without paying any respect to the culture of Bengal" as it has been decided to hold Geography examination from 3 pm to 6 pm on October 21 — the auspicious day of Panchami, this Durga Puja.
During Durga Puja, the biggest festival of Bengal, the state gets a completely different look. So holding examinations at this time is considered to be nothing apart from "an insult" to the state's culture and heritage. This comes when thousands of students appear in the examination every year from Bengal.
Again, the examination on regional language and Hindi is scheduled on Shashti (October 22) and Saptami (October 23) respectively. Now, the demand is to change the dates of the examination as it is related to the career of hundreds of students from Bengal.