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Kolkata: Succumbing to pressure from Mamata Banerjee government, Jadavpur University has revoked its decision to conduct entrance test for admission to undergraduate courses in the humanities.

The U-turn has triggered a fresh agitation by students who have now confined vice-chancellor Suranjan Das and other senior officials to the administrative building of the varsity. The agitators say that doing away with the entrance test will compromise on the quality of students who are enrolled for studies.

It’s been a practice at JU to admit students in undergraduate Bengali, English, Political Science, History, Philosophy, and comparative literature courses on the basis of entrance test conducted by the respective departments. In case of science stream, student secures admission on the basis of class XII score.

But problem started after state education minister Partha Chatterjee last year publicly suggested that JU should have a uniform formula for admitting students. “Entrance test for some courses and class XII score for others does not make a sense,” the minister said and kept on repetition as late as last week.

Thus, despite having notified dates for entrance test last month, the varsity suddenly put the process on hold and referred the matter to its executive council.

This made the students confine the V-C to his office from 25-27 June afternoon until the executive council announced that the entrance test will remain in place but with some changes. It was announced that instead of allowing admission solely on the basis of marks scored in the entrance test, 50 per cent score from class XII exam will also be counted.

The dates for the entrance test were rescheduled to 11-14 July but the varsity said that outside experts will conduct the test and not the teachers of the varsity. This triggered another controversy and the teachers asked whether their trustworthiness is being questioned.

To sort out the matter, the executive council of the university met again today. After the meeting, registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharyya told reporters that it has been decided not to hold entrance test for the current year and instead allow admission on the basis of marks scored in class XII or equivalent exam.

Bhattacharyya did not refer to any directive from the state government ~ written or verbal ~ for discarding the entrance test. He, however, clarified that the state advocate general had advised them not to involve the teachers in the process.

The registrar also said that the students cannot have a say on the modalities for admission. At best they can express their views if the admission process gets delayed affecting studies.

In view of the decision to discard the entrance test, the deadline for receiving applications for admission to undergraduate courses will be extended, he added.