VCs of West Bengal universities will wait for govt advisory on holding final exam
Vice-Chancellors of different state universities on Saturday said they will wait for advisories from West Bengal Higher Education department before going ahead with any plan to hold final semester college and university exams by October before the Durga Puja.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Friday said that her government was weighing the pros and cons of holding final-year college and university exams before Durga Puja in October.
The Supreme Court has said that states and universities cannot promote students without holding final- year exams by September 30.
“We have decided at the preliminary level about the modalities and feasibility of holding the final semester exams by October after the chief minister made the comments. We will take a formal stand after discussing the issue with Education Minister Partha Chatterjee, our faculty, students by next week,” Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University Chiranjib Bhattacharya told PTI.
To a question about the JU already deciding on the final semester evaluation formula of 80-20 for arts and science streams as recommended by the higher education department, Bhattacharya said “we will discuss every aspect.
But I don’t think the decision of the university, giving weightage to previous semester performance for evaluation of final semester students, has turned invalid due to the SC order.” The Vice-Chancellor of North Bengal University Subiresh Bhattacharya said the university would think about holding final semester exams in October before Durga Puja but after considering all options and as advised by the state government.
“As the CM suggested we will hold talks with the government before deciding on any possible date which can be October as well. This is in consonance of the SC decision that a state has to approach UGC if it cannot conduct exams by September 30. Hope the pandemic situation will ease a bit by then,” he said.
Bhattacharya, who is also the Secretary of West Bengal Vice-Chancellors’ Council, said to a question the 25 members of different state universities have not yet taken any collective decision in response to the Supreme Court judgement.
“While every university has the functional autonomy to decide its course of action in consultation with the state government, we will meet soon to take stock of the situation and decide on issuing a statement if necessary,” he said.
The VC of another state-run university, not wishing to be named, said while “we had decided to follow an 80:20 pattern of previous semester performance and internal assessment-home assignment criteria, we did not publish the results.
“Now we will sit again and hold talks with the Higher Education Minister and arrive at a decision keeping in mind covid safety protocols and the pandemic situation in October.” The VC of Presidency University Anuradha Lohia said “we are holding an emergency meeting. Can’t talk now.” “I have told our Education minister to look into the possibility of conducting the final-year exams in universities and colleges before Durga Puja in October. The options of both online and offline exams should be looked into,” the CM said on Friday.
“We are not against any exam, we are just saying that a pandemic is on, and it could put lives of students at risk,” she had said while addressing a virtual rally of Trinamool Congress Chhatra Parishad (TMCP).