Relentless protests by members of Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU) since July 4, and an indefinite hunger strike by 20 students for the past 5 days, supported by the Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA), have forced the University authorities to overturn their July 4 decision to scrap entrance test for Six Arts Courses. An emergency meeting of the Executive Council (EC) held on July 10, reinstated the 50-50 formula, a decision arrived at, by an EC meeting on June 27.
In a press statement, the university authorities 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 undergraduate Courses will be on the basis of 50% weightage on an admission test and 50% weightage on the marks obtained in the 12th Board Exams.”
Debraj Debnath, General Secretary AFSU, told Newsclickearlier today that the admission committee, consisting of the department heads, have concluded their meeting and decided that internal teachers will set the entrance exam question papers, and will play a predominant role in the admission process of their respective departments. He also told us that the examination dates will be announced by the university, later today.
Assistant secretary of JUTA, Dr Partha Pratim Ray, quoted in a News18 report, “We appreciate the efforts taken by the EC members to resolve the issue. Moreover, JUTA also wishes that the VC ensures transparency, accountability and the rights of the teachers in the admission process, going by the provisions of the JU Act, Statute and Regulations.”
However, the University’s Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das, and Pro Vice-Chancellor PK Ghosh, have expressed their desire to resign as they “did not agree with the resolution adopted by the EC today.”
“We were not party to the resolution. We will meet the Governor and varsity Chancellor, Keshari Nath Tripathi to express our desire to resign. We cannot run the university under these circumstances,” said Das, to The Indian Express.
Debraj confirmed to Newsclick that it was never the demand of the students that the VC resign or be kicked out.
“We never demanded the vice-chancellor to step down. It is his personal decision. We want him to stay in the university and guard its autonomy,” a student told The Indian Express.
The decision to reinstate the entrance exam comes after the West Bengal Governor and JU Chancellor, KN Tripathi, urged the University authorities to end the impasse at the earliest; after which the emergency meeting was held. As reported by The Indian Express, Registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharjee abstained from the deliberations, while Dr. Monojit Mondal (nominee of the estate higher education council to the EC) gave his note of dissent to the resolution.