Bringing Jadavpur University (JU) on Tuesday reversed its decision of scrapping admission tests in six subjects in the humanities stream. The decision was taken following intense student unrest over the JU admission row that led to hospitalisation of five protesters, who had been on a hunger strike since 6 July.
An emergency executive council meeting that was called this evening to break the logjam over the admission process gave its nod for conducting admission tests in six Arts subjects ~ English, comparative literature, history, political science, philosophy and Bengali.
For admitting students in these departments, 50 per cent weightage would be given to marks obtained in the admission test and remaining 50 per cent to the score in class- XII board examination.
Following the EC’s decision to reintroduce the tests, the students spearheading the agitation said they were withdrawing their 96-hour fast.
Meanwhile, JU Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das told reporters that he wanted to resign from the post, and would speak to West Bengal Governor K N Tripathi, who is also the varsity’s chancellor, in this regard.
Several rounds of meetings were held on Tuesday to resolve the ongoing impasse over the JU admission row. The first round at 2.30 p.m. remained inconclusive as the authorities discussed only the Governor’s advisory stating that the V-C is empowered to take his decisions and the EC’s decison was to be final.
The issue of entrance tests was taken up only after 6 p.m. following a representation filed by JUTA requesting the authorities to retain JU’s autonomy.
At the meeting this evening, the resolution to conduct admission tests was favoured by 11 department heads and three deans while the V-C and pro-VC preferred not to be a party. Mr Monojit Mondol, higher education department representative, gave a note of dissent.
The tussle over involvement of the university’s own teachers in the admission process too is likely to be resolved. Earlier, the EC had decided to engage ‘external experts’ to set one of the two sets of question papers for entrance tests. A section of the university’s teachers felt that the decision to appoint ‘external experts’ was “humiliating” and “unwanted”.
The EC on Tuesday assured teachers of full faith and sought their cooperation. During the day, four more students, who were on hunger strike were hospitalised. Among the hospitalised are Sagun Hembram, Reza Hassan Molla, Anushka Pal and Ushoshi Pal from Arts Faculty.
Another student, Somashree Chowdhury had been rushed to KPC Medical College and Hospital yesterday on account of deteriorating health. The V-C had gone to see the sick students at the hospital.
Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi had yesterday expressed concern over the health of the students. Prof. Das had also urged the agitating students to call off their hunger strike. A protest rally was taken out around 1 p.m. from gate no. 4 of the university till Dhakuria and back to the campus.
The trouble at JU started since the EC decided to scrap the admission tests on 4 July. An hour after the announcement, students gheraoed the VC and other members of the executive council to protest the move. The gherao, which lasted for 30 hours, was followed by ceasework by JUTA, class boycott and indefinite fast by Arts Faculty Students Union members