Jadavpur students withdraw protest after EC nod to admission tests

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Kolkata, June 27 (IANS) Students of Jadavpur University withdrew their almost 40 hour long protest demonstration on Wednesday after the authorities decided to hold admission tests for six undergraduate courses in humanities.

However, in a balancing act, the university Executive Council put equal weightage on the test results as also the marks obtained by the students in their previous board examination in preparing the merit list for admission.

“In EC meeting, regarding the admission process, the members have unanimously decided that tests will be conducted for the six departments as decided earlier.

“The merit list will be prepared based on a 50:50 formula. 50 per cent waightage will be given to the marks obtained by the applicants in their previous board examination and rest 50 percent based on the marks obtained by them in the test,” said Dean, Humanities, Subhasish Chakraborty.

Following the EC decision, the students withdrew their demonstration in front of Aurobindo Bhavan, the administrative headquarters, and allowed the Vice Chancellor and Executive Council members to leave.

The students had started the demonstration from Monday night in protest against the EC’s earlier decision to defer the admission test process for six undergraduate courses in humanities.

However, an EC member said there won’t be parity in the 50/50 system across subjects.

In comparative literature, history, political science and philosophy, for preparing the list, 50 per cent weightage would be given to the aggregate marks obtained by the students in the previous board examination and the remaining on the result of the admission test.

For Bengali, 50 percent weightage will be given on the total marks scored in Bengali plus English in the board examination and the rest on written test. For undergraduate course in English, 50 percent weightage will be given to the total marks obtained in English in the board examination and the remaining 50 per cent on the test.

This year, the admissions process will be conducted by a committee centrally, not the departments.

“The admission committee of the University will conduct the admission tests, as per the decision of our legal board. We are trying to conduct the admissions at a fast pace so that the 1st year classes can commence on time,” said Chakraborty.

The immediate trigger for the unrest was the EC’s decision to extend the date for submission of admission forms for the six courses by a week from June 26 to July 2 and put stop to the admission process in the interim due to some legal issues.

The EC conceded that the problems in admission process arose due to lack of time for due deliberations and discussions, and said such things won’t be repeated.

At the same time, it condemned the students’ demonstrations.

“The EC unanimously condemnS the wrongful confinement of the EC by a section of students, especially of Arts department,” the dean said.

West Bengal Education Minister Partha Chatterjee had on more than one occasion spoken against the JU holding admission tests for undergraduate courses in some subjects, while admitting students on the basis of plus two results in some courses.

Raising questions over the transparency of such tests, he had opined that the university could not follow two different set of rules for admission.

–IANS

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