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Stepping up its attack on the Centre over demonetisation, the West Bengal education department has asked Vice Chancellors of state universities not to attend the video conference with Union HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar on digital economy and cashless transaction. The Vice Chancellors were asked to participate in the video conference with the HRD minister, but state Education Minister Partho Chatterjee on Wednesday said they would not be able to do so because of the present examination schedule of state universities.
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“They were asked to attend the video conference, but they won’t be able to attend the programme as exams are on in all state universities. The VCs are busy ensuring smooth functioning of examinations, so they can not attend it,” he told reporters outside the Assembly.
On being asked whether it was a “boycott” of a Central government programme by the state, Chatterjee said, “No, it is not a boycott. The examinations are on and they are busy with it.”
The development comes after the TMC government’s controversial ‘objection’ to the deployment of Army at toll plazas in the state.
Earlier this week, Banerjee had instructed WBCS officers not to act on any directive by the Central government without asking the state government.
The video conference was announced following the UGC’s directive asking all universities and colleges across the country to launch a month-long campaign to create awareness about cashless transaction.
According to TMC sources, the decision to give the video conference a miss was taken keeping in mind Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s continued protest against Centre’s demonetisation drive.