Jadavpur University scraps entrance test in six humanities subjects; teachers, students to continue protests

Kolkata: The Jadavpur University (JU) authorities on Wednesday decided to scrap the entrance test procedure to undergraduate courses in six humanities subjects and admit students on the basis of marks obtained in board examinations.

The new system, applicable "only for this year", has displeased both the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (JUTA) and the Arts Faculty Students' Union (AFSU).

Education minister Partha Chatterjee said the admission procedure of all the faculties should be similar.

"There will be no admission test to any of the six arts subjects. The entrance tests announced earlier have been cancelled," JU Registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharya told reporters after a meeting of the Executive Committee (EC), the highest decision-making body of the university.

 Jadavpur University scraps entrance test in six humanities subjects; teachers, students to continue protests

File image of Jadavpur University. Wikimedia Commons

He said the EC decided that the admission will be solely based on marks obtained in the board examinations.

The decision was arrived at the Executive Committee meeting in the wake of displeasure among a large section of Arts Faculty teachers over the previous decision to get the entrance test conducted by external experts, the registrar said.

An emergency meeting of senior JU officials over the involvement of external experts in the admission procedure had remained inconclusive on Tuesday.

"In the present impasse, there was little possibility of conducting entrance tests by addressing the concerns of our teachers. Keeping that in mind, and in view of the uncertainties faced by thousands of candidates, we decided to go by the marks criteria only for this year," he said.

A JUTA spokesman said, "Admitting students solely based on marks may lower the high academic standard of JU arts faculty, as we will have to admit candidates without proper evaluation of their writing abilities. This is a departure from the JU's long-tested standards," he said.

An AFSU leader said, "We are not accepting this decision. We will continue our agitation."

The JUTA had said there is no legal provision for the involvement of external experts, authorities or any other entity in JU admission tests.

The JU authorities had also declared a new '50-50 formula' last week, according to which the admission eligibility will be based on 50 percent of the total marks obtained in admission tests, and 50 percent of the total marks secured by a candidate in board examinations.

This caused dismay among a large section of arts faculty teachers.

On Tuesday, 12 personalities from various walks of life, including poet Sankha Ghosh, litterateur Nabanita Dev Sen and academician Sukanto Chowdhury had written to Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das against involving external experts in the admission process. Das could not be contacted on Wednesday.

The VC had been gheraoed for 44 hours since 25 June by the AFSU after the authorities decided to postpone the admission test for the six humanities subjects.

At that time, the VC had said the university "did not "scrap the admission test process but just postponed it".

The JU chapter of the All Bengal University Teachers' Association also criticised the decision of scrapping the admission test process for the six subjects : Bengali, English, Philosophy, Political Science, Comparative Literature and History.

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Updated Date: Jul 04, 2018 21:49:59 IST