For the First time in 40 years, Jadavpur University Scraps Entrance Test: Students, Teachers Up In Arms!
The Executive Council (EC) of Jadavpur University in its emergency meeting today has decided to scrap the entrance test for six of its undergraduate courses. This move has come at a time when the continuing tussle on the issue over the last one month has already delayed the admission process and apprehensions remain on whether the new academic session will be able to begin on time or not.
Jadavpur University is a state university and over the last 63 years of its existence as a university it has established itself as one of the premier universities in the country. The admission process of the university played a central role in ensuring this. Entrance test based on the scientific principle of testing the aptitude of the students in the subject of their choice ensured that best of the students joined the university. Now, departure from the time tested process is leading the students and teachers of the university to see it as a clear ploy to dismantle the overall structure of university.
Let us give you a timeline of the events of the last one month:
- The administration released a notification on the 9th June regarding BA admissions.
- The notification stated there’d be entrance tests for the 6 departments (English, Bengali, CL, IR, Philosophy, and History). There was a contradiction regarding History’s entrance test, on part of the Head of the Department and also the Arts Faculty dean, who stated that he personally did not want the department to carry out entrance tests.
- After further debates and deputations it was concluded that History would have an entrance test, but admission criteria would give 50% weigthage to higher secondary aggregate and 50% weigthage to the admission test.
- The University in the following week held an Executive Council meeting (highest decision making body of the University) and stated that the admission tests would be scrapped. No department would have the right to carry out entrance tests citing legal advice from the Advocate General of the state.
- After the students held a 56 hour long sit-in demonstration, the EC met again and stated that admission tests would be held between the 11th-14th July, but with all departments giving 50% weigthage to the higher secondary aggregate and 50% weigthage to the entrance test (in English and CL, the criteria previously was 100% weigthage to the entrance test.)
- In the meantime, the entrance for the English UG, which was scheduled to be held on 3rd July, was postponed at the last movement. There was one candidate who had come all the way from Rajasthan to appear for the exam, while another had come from Vietnam. The inconvenience was severe. The reputation of the University was bruised.
- On the 4th of July another EC meeting was held and the EC decided that it would once again scrap the entrance test, citing legal reasons.
- As of now, the students are holding a sit-in demonstration, with the authorities pleading the students to disembark on this issue and the students adamant that the entrance test would have to hold next week as the second notification stated.
- Students are demanding the following :
- The demand of the hour is that the entrance test has to be held on the dates stated, to end the confusion among the applicants.
- The entrance test cannot be held in the form of MCQ.
- No external teachers should take part in the entrance test process.
- Renowned retired teachers of the university have issued a letter on 4th July against the decision to scrap the entrance tests.
Jadavpur University has been a target for both the Hindutva forces and the Trinamul Congress in West Bengal. The present move to sabotage the university by disrupting the time tested admission process is a part of this design, with the education minister of the state Partha Chatterjee personally monitoring the entire process. Universities like Jadavpur, with academic programmes that teach how to question and with a tradition of student activism over the years has created generations of rational and thinking citizens. It is hence that Jadavpur is a thorn in the eyes of the political forces like TMC and RSS-BJP, which thrive on the lumpenization of youth. Jadavpur in the recent past has thwarted every single attempt to destroy it and the Socialist India is confident that it will emerge victorious yet again.