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Jadavpur University impasse on admission test continues even as VC says he wants to quit

Sulagna Sengupta | Updated on: 9 July 2018, 20:45 IST

Jadavpur University Vice-Chancellor Suranjan Das expressed his desire to resign from his post but the students who are on an indefinite hunger strike, responded that this won’t solve the impasse in the University.

Earlier in the day, Das met the students and said that he has failed to discharge his duties properly and that he is waiting for a final decision on his resignation from the Governor’s office.

“I know that you (students) do not like me as the VC of the University. It has been decided in the Karmi Samiti meeting that I will resign from my post very soon .I am waiting for a final intimation from the Governor. You will receive a better VC, who can run the University smoothly”.

“I am also in favour of retaining the autonomy of the University. But it is not possible to accept the students' proposal (against scrapping the nentrance test for the University). This decision was taken by the Executive Council and as VC, I have to abide by it”.

“I still believe that I have failed to discharge my responsibilities properly and so I have expressed my desire to resign. I still urge all of you to withdraw your hunger strike and restore normalcy .” Das added.

The Governor's office had urged students to accept the EC's decision.

Soon after the Governor's response, the various sections of the University met the VC.

Somashree Choudhury, chairperson of Arts Faculty Students Union (AFSU), said “The Vice Chancellor met with us in the morning and expressed his desire to resign. We have told him that resigning from his post won’t solve the impasse. Rather, we demand that the admission test should not be scrapped and University authorities should look into the matter. We will continue our hunger-strike till the University authorities accept our demand”.

Choudhury further accused the ruling All India Trinamool Congress government in West Bengal of trying to harm the autonomy of the University and said that the VC should use his authority to take a call on this matter before resigning.

A student of international relations, who is continuing his hunger-strike for last 66 hours, said “The Vice-Chancellor has succumbed to the pressure of the ruling party. As students we have the full right to protest if anyone harms the autonomy of the University”.

The students also gheraoed the VC and pro-VC for some time in the afternoon when they were leaving the . Choudhury fell ill in the evening and she had to be admitted at the hospital for treatment.

After the VC left, the students held a governing body meeting where they have decided that until University authorities decide to hold the admission test, the students will continue their hunger-strike.

Meanwhile the teachers of CPI(M)-backed Jadavpur University Teachers Association (JUTA) has sent a letter to the Governor, urging him to resolve the impasse. It also urged the University authorities to convene another executive council meeting and retain the admission test process in humanities.

Nilanjana Gupta, member of JUTA, said “We have sent a letter to the Governor urging him to resolve the stalemate as it is harming the University's image. The Governor has assured us that he will look into the matter”.

However, the teachers of the Trinamool Congress-backed teachers association feel that students do not have any role in deciding whether the University should keep the admission test or not.

Sukumar Barua , member of the Sara Bangla Trinamul Shiksha Bandhu Samity said, “We do not support the students' hunger-strike as it is disrupting the normalcy of the University”.

It may be mentioned that EC of Jadavpur University (JU) had decided to scrap admission tests for six humanities subjects and had announced it would admit undergraduate students in English, Comparative Literature, Bengali, History, Political Science and Philosophy only on the basis of marks.

After the EC meeting, teachers of all six departments submitted a letter to the VC that they want to dissociate themselves from the admission process.

First published: 9 July 2018, 20:45 IST