JU row: Governor expresses concern over students’ health

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Kolkata, July 9 (IANS) West Bengal Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi on Monday expressed concern over the health of the Jadavpur University students who are on a hunger strike in protest for the scrapping of admission test for six under-graduate courses.

Tripathi’s statement, issued by Raj Bhavan, echoed Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das who also appealed to the students to withdraw their strike and restore normalcy in the university.

The Governor, as Chancellor of Jadavpur University is “concerned about the high reputation of the University as also the well-being and health of the students of the University, who are on hunger strike. He has already replied to the letter of the Vice Chancellor on the issues involved”, the statement read.

“Governor appeals to the students of Jadavpur University to uphold the prestige of the University and withdraw the strike so that the situation returns back to normalcy,” it added.

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Earlier in the day, Vice Chancellor Das insisted that as the VC he is obliged to go by the decisions taken by university’s Executive Council, the highest decision-making body of the institute, and also said he is awaiting a directive from the Governor – the ex-officio Chancellor – on the matter.

Das told the agitating students he is in favour of the university’s autonomy and willing to work to safeguard their interests.

Around 20 members of Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) started a hunger strike on July 6, two days after the university decided to do away with the system of holding entrance tests for admission to six under-graduate courses.

The university, rated one of the best in the country academically, plunged into turmoil after the authorities – apparently under pressure from the West Bengal government – decided to do away with the system of holding entrance tests for admission to six under-graduate courses – Bengali, English, History, comparative literature, political science and philosophy.

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