Revoke the Decision to Scrap Admission Tests at Jadavpur University
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Seven days before the date of entrance examinations at the Faculty of Arts, Jadavpur University, the university authorities announced that there will be no admission tests - thus jeopardising the future of thousands of students across West Bengal.
Every year, some departments at the Faculty of Arts, Jadavpur University, conduct their own entrance examinations. These tests ensure that the entry into the university is not merely dependent on a candidate's score in higher secondary board examinations, but on their inclination and interest in humanities. This is done because different boards have different marking systems, as well as different patterns of testing a candidate's aptitude. Disparity in marking systems, differences in syllabi, irregularities in the evaluation process are a few of the issues which make it unfair for a candidate to be judged entirely on the basis of their scores in the board examination. The CBSE question paper leak earlier this year is one of the incidents which highlights the fragility of our school education system, and its susceptibility to corruption.
Within such a system, these departments at Jadavpur University (Bengali, Comparative Literature, English, History, Philosophy, Political Science), conduct their own admission tests in order to give candidates an opportunity to study in one of the top universities in the country. And this has been the practice for the last forty years.
This system has enabled students from varied social, cultural and educational backgrounds to study at Jadavpur University. They have successfully continued the legacy of excellence in humanities at Jadavpur University by contributing to a wide variety of fields, including academia, journalism, media, business, arts and publishing.
The admission tests are a labour of love for faculty and students in these departments. They voluntarily take every responsibility to ensure that the tests are conducted smoothly and fairly. The sole purpose of these tests is to provide an equal opportunity to students who want to study humanities.
To scrap the admission test is an attack on the tradition and excellence of Jadavpur University. It is a move which will ruin the quality of higher education in West Bengal and jeopardise the future of around 17000 candidates who have applied to these departments this year.
We stand in solidarity with the protesting teachers, students and staff of Jadavpur University. We are concerned about this reckless decision of the authorities, and demand that they revoke this arbitrary decision immediately.
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