Kolkata, July 4: The Jadavpur University (JU) has decided to not conduct entrance tests in six undergraduate arts courses this academic session.
The decision was taken in Wednesday's executive council meeting amid uproar over the university's decision to engage 'external experts' to set one of the two sets of question papers for entrance tests in six undergraduate arts courses - English, Comparative Literature, History, Political Science, Philosophy and Bangla.
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.
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 EC 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 yesterday.
"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 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 per cent of the total marks obtained in admission tests, and 50 per cent 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 wrote to Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das against involving external experts in admission process. Das could not be contacted today.
The VC had been gheraoed for 44 hours since June 25 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.
OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)