Kolkata: Under pressure from protesting students and revolt by a large section of teachers, Jadavpur University authorities on Tuesday decided to bring back the admission test system for admission to six under-graduate courses, but the vice-chancellor announced that he would resign.
The decision to admit students in the six under-graduate courses in the Humanities stream, by giving equal weightage to both admission test and marks obtained in the Class XII board examination, was taken at an emergent meeting of the executive council in the evening, five days after a section of students went on an indefinite hunger strike demanding withdrawal of the earlier decision to scrap admission tests.
The council resolved that "in six departments of the arts faculty — Bengali, English, History, Comparative Literature, Political Science and Philosophy — admission to the undergraduate courses will be on the basis of 50 percent weightage on an admission test, and 50 percent weightage on the marks obtained in the Plus Two (Class XII) board exams."
The council's resolution, read out to the media by Registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharjee, also affirmed its faith on the teachers of the university and requested their full cooperation in the admission process.
The executive council empowered the registrar and the Dean, Faculty of Arts, to decide on the modalities of the admission test.
However, Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das and Pro Vice-Chancellor Pradip Ghosh put it on record that they were not party to the resolution that was carried by majority.
But there was more drama as Das announced that he and Ghosh would meet West Bengal governor KN Tripathi — the ex-officio Chancellor — and seek that they be relieved of their posts.
"We are not party to the resolution. We cannot go beyond the lawyers' opinion given in the wake of a letter from the Chancellor. University cannot be run in the given situation. The pro-VC and I, will both seek to be relieved of our responsibilities," said Das.
Minutes earlier, Das was seen at the venue of the hunger strike and requesting students to end it as their demand has been met. The students told him that their general body would decide on the issue.
The authorities' decision to go back to the time-tested admission test system for the six undergraduate courses was welcomed by the Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (JUTA), which had backed the students' protests all these days.
Most of the teachers of the six courses had dissociated themselves from the admission process, decrying the scrapping of the admission test system. They were also angry over the "insult" meted out to them as a result of the university authorities' decision to involve external experts in the admission process.
"From the outset we wanted the university's academic autonomy to remain undisturbed. Today, the executive council has decided to restore the admission test system, overriding the pressure from the government," said JUTA assistant secretary Partha Pratim Roy.
Roy was apparently hinting at state Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, who had time and again spoken out against the Jadavpur University following two separate admission processes — holding of tests for some courses, while admitting students on the basis of plus two results in some other courses.
Many feel that the executive council's 4 July decision to scrap admission tests was taken in the wake of Chatterjee's stand.
Earlier in the day, four of the 20 students on hunger strike had to be rushed to hospital hospital after their health condition deteriorated,
The registrar had then expressed concern over their health and the vice-chancellor had also appealed to them to withdraw the hunger strike.
Updated Date: Jul 11, 2018 09:40 AM