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Jadavpur University Bows Down to Student Protests, Goes Back to Entrance Tests for Admission

Five of the 20 students who were on an indefinite hunger strike at the university had to be admitted to the hospital after their health coordinates fell to alarming levels on Tuesday.

Sujit Nath | News18.com

Updated:July 10, 2018, 10:59 PM IST
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Jadavpur University Bows Down to Student Protests, Goes Back to Entrance Tests for Admission
Students of Jadavpur University observing indefinite hunger strike. (Image: News18)
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Kolkata: After five days of hunger strike and weeks of relentless protest against authorities and the state government, the students of Jadavpur University were finally granted their demands on Wednesday when the university decided to go back to the earlier system of giving 50-50 weightage to Class 12 marks and entrance exams.

Five of the 20 students who were on an indefinite hunger strike at the university had to be admitted to the hospital after their health coordinates fell to alarming levels on Tuesday.

However, the students are still not willing to call off the protest as the modalities of the decision are yet to finalized whether the entrance exams for the six arts faculty departments will be conducted by internal teachers or “external” ones. The students are still waiting for an official word from the university.

In a press statement the university said, “In order to overcome the present state of deadlock prevailing on campus, this EC meeting took the resolutions that in six departments of the Arts Faculty (viz. Bengali, Comparative Literature, English, History, International Relations & Philosophy) admission to the UG Course will be on the basis of 50% weightage on an admission test and 50% weightage on the marks obtained in the 12th Board Exams.”

The decision to go back to the original format was taken by the institution's Executive Council, which held an emergency meeting on Tuesday. The body met twice after Governor and JU Chancellor KN Tripathi had on Monday asked the university authorities to end the impasse at the earliest.

Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das had also urged the agitating students to call off their hunger strike on Monday.

Suranjan Das and Pro-VC Dr PK Ghosh and two representatives of the state government, have however, registered their dissent against the decision. The V-C and Pro V-C stayed out of the EC meeting.

Das said, “I don’t want to comment on the matter as everything is written in the resolution statement. All I want to say is that myself and the Pro-VC were not party to the EC meeting resolutions.”

Around 20 members of the AFSU started a hunger strike on July 6, two days after the university announced that it would admit undergraduate students in English, Comparative Literature, Bengali, History, Political Science and Philosophy on the basis of board marks, reversing its earlier decision to hold entrance tests.

Assistant secretary of Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), Dr Partha Pratim Ray, said, “We appreciate the efforts taken by the EC members to resolve the issue. Moreover, JUTA also wishes that the V-C will ensure transparency, accountability and the rights of the teachers in the admission process, going by the provisions of the JU Act, Statute and regulations.”

Almost after 40 years, JU had for the first time decided to do away with the entrance examinations for aspiring candidates in six undergraduate arts courses.

JU has been embroiled in protests since July 4, when the executive council announced its decision to scrap entrance tests for the six subjects.
| Edited by: Sanchari Chatterjee
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