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Jadavpur University professors support student protest as hunger strike nears 48 hours

On Friday, 20 students had started a hunger strike seeking recall of the executive council’s (EC) decision to scrap admission tests.

india Updated: Jul 08, 2018 21:49 IST
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Snigdhendu Bhattacharya
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Jadacpur University,JU,JU admission protests
Students of Jadavpur University in an indefinite hunger strike in Kolkata on Sunday to protest against the decision to scrap entrance test for six undergraduate courses in Humanities courses in the coming academic session.(PTI)

The impasse over admission to humanities department of Jadavpur University (JU) continued on Sunday as the hunger strike of students protesting the scrapping of the entrance test, neared 48 hours, worsening their health condition.

More professors have opted out of the admission process in support of the protest.

Education minister Partha Chatterjee met governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, who is also the chancellor of the university, and chief minister Mamata Banerjee, but did not speak to the media.

Ruling party leaders said the situation at JU was discussed during both the meetings.

On Friday, 20 students had started a hunger strike seeking recall of the executive council’s (EC) decision to scrap admission tests. Till Sunday night, there was no sign of withdrawing the hunger strike.

“There is no question of withdrawing the hunger strike or the sit-in demonstrations until our demands are met,” said Somashree Choudhury, chairperson of the Arts Faculty Students’ Union (AFSU).

Engineering students’ union has joined the protest in solidarity with the arts students.

In Delhi, renowned historian and Trinamool Congress MP from Jadavpur, Sugato Bose said, “JU authorities should take the decision. Opinions of the teachers and students should matter most.”

Traditionally, admission to humanities departments used to be conducted through admission tests while board exam results were the sole parameter for admission in other departments. This year, the EC decided to scrap admission test in order to bring uniformity in the admission process.

Students and a section of teachers, as well as eminent alumni and former professors have argued that the admission process could not be the same for science and humanities streams.

In protest, a majority of professors of the departments of English, Bengali and comparative literature had opted out of the admission process.

On Sunday, majority teachers of the international relations department emailed to the VC informing him the same.

“We have reported everything to the governor, including about the health of the students on hunger strike and their demands, and are waiting for his advice to make any further move,” said registrar Chiranjeeb Bhattacharjee, who met the students on Sunday afternoon.

Jadavpur University Teachers’ Association (JUTA) has supported the students’ movement and has also staged demonstrations. On Sunday, they expressed concerns over the deteriorating health of the students on hunger strike.

“We have sought an appointment with the chancellor but are yet to hear from his office,” said JUTA’s assistant secretary Partha Pratim Ray.

First Published: Jul 08, 2018 21:28 IST