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Bengal: Education Dept Notification on UG & PG Admission Against Spirit of Autonomy, says JUTA

This "is likely to have a negative effect on the academic standards and excellence of our university," said Jadavpur University’s Partha Pratim Roy.
Bengal: Education Dept Notification on UG & PG Admission Against Spirit of Autonomy, says JUTA

Kolkata:  The Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) on Tuesday said the notification by the state higher education department with regard to admission to undergraduate and post-graduate courses goes against the spirit of autonomy of universities.

In a statement, JUTA said each university should have the power to decide on matters relating to admissions, curriculum and so on, keeping in mind its history and the socio-economic conditions and backgrounds of its students and potential students.

In a notification issued on July 14, the higher education department said: "Online admission process should be done based on merit. Prospective students should not be called for counselling or verification of documents during the process of admission. No physical presence will be required in the college/university."

The JUTA said "this notification goes directly against the autonomy of universities. In the specific case of Jadavpur University, as per the university's statutes, the admission committee is the final decision-making authority about admissions...

"Negating  such processes  and procedures that have been formulated after due consultations among teachers, students, researchers, and other  experts at Jadavpur University, by using the excuse of the ongoing pandemic, is profoundly anti-education."

"We are sure the government will take into consideration the fact that the teaching community of Jadavpur University has come forward to bridge the digital divide that exists among its students, and given due importance to the concept and practice of social inclusion," the JUTA said.

Claiming the JU did not receive any help or support from the state or Central government to pursue its academic activities during this pandemic period, JUTA said teaching community and the statutory bodies of the university are best placed to decide what serves the academic interests of the university and its students."

The higher education department notification specified that in view of the success of the online admission process last year with requisite infrastructure already put in place, admission to all undergraduate (UG) and postgraduate (PG) courses in the state-funded higher educational institutions for the ensuing 2021-22 session will be made online without calling anyone to campus.

Referring to the notification, the JUTA said the government has not prevented private and independent (NGO-funded) institutions of higher education, whether colleges or universities, from conducting admission tests, thus enabling them to assess the merit of those seeking admission to their courses.

"Yet, by virtue of being a government-funded institution, we are deprived of this right to conduct such assessment of merit for those students who seek admission to our university, and, as a result, we are often being deprived of opportunity to admit genuinely meritorious students," the teachers body said.

JUTA General Secretary Partha Pratim Roy said "such governmental interference and intervention in the rights of higher educational institutions stifle their independence and freedom of thought."

Coming to JU, he said government intervention in matters related to admission "is likely to have a negative effect on the academic standards and excellence of our university."

Results of the higher secondary examination will be announced in West Bengal on July 22.

Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das could not be contacted.

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