EDUCATION: Varsity rejects free paper re-assessment plea – Strike on hill campuses, Morcha waits for official communication from NBU – One year of hill children’s education and expenses lost forever, Bengal’s snide political aim at drying up higher education in the hills, but for how long ?!! Any provision to sue NBU and make them pay with interest ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Sept. 30: North Bengal University has rejected the demand to waive the re-assessment fees for applicants from hill colleges, a decision which is likely to intensify the campus strike called by the Gorkha Janmukti Vidyarthi Morcha from today.
The plea to waive fees was one of the demands that the student wing of the Gorkha Janmukti Morcha had placed before NBU yesterday, a fallout of the poor performance of the students across the region in the varsity’s Part I and Part II undergraduate exams.
The varsity has fixed October 1 as the last day for receiving applications for re-assessment or scrutiny. The fee is Rs 50 for each paper.
The Vidyarthi Morcha has called the strike in 11 colleges across the Darjeeling hills till October 5 and has threatened to extend it, if its demands are not met.
The students’ body, however, is yet to make an announcement as it has not received an official communication from NBU.
Rejecting the Vidyarthi Morcha’s demands, NBU said there were legal bindings that stood in the way of conceding to the demand.
“The fee has been stipulated according to university regulations and it would require an amendment of the norms to grant a waiver. Neither the controller of examinations, nor the vice-chancellor himself has the power to waive re-assessment fees,” said Sushanta Das, the controller of examinations.
But the varsity has agreed to consider the demand to shift the exam time at the undergraduate level to the earlier part of the day for convenience of hill students from distant locations. The university now conducts its exams from 2pm to 5pm.
“We understand the problems faced by the students in the hills and this issue can be discussed by holding meetings with college representatives and people concerned,” Das said.
The hill students have also demanded that just like in the schools there, the college session should be from March to November. The current academic session under NBU starts in July and ends in April.
“The current academic session is convenient only for the colleges in the plains. In the hills, colleges have to rush to complete the syllabus from July to September because there are puja holidays scheduled in October and November and the institutions close for winters for three months from December. In March, the students register for the exams which begin in April,” Nima Sherpa, the media and publicity secretary of the student wing of the Morcha said.
However, the varsity official said it was not feasible to change the academic session because of the UGC guidelines.
“All universities under the UGC have to complete the admission to the post-graduate courses by August. It would be difficult for us to fulfil this UGC stipulation if we concede to their demand. Moreover, all colleges in the country start their sessions in July and end it by April and there can’t be any exceptions for colleges under NBU,” Das said.
Sherpa said the Vidyarthi Morcha was waiting for a response from the varsity authorities. “We have faxed a memorandum to the chancellor and governor M.K. Narayanan mentioning these issues today,” Sherpa added.
Slap slur meet – nothing new or more to expect from a warped Bengal education culture, each more disgusting than the next ?!!
FROM THE TELEGRAPH CORRESPONDENT
Siliguri, Sept. 30: The Siliguri College authorities will call a meeting soon as a conciliatory measure to defuse the tension that arose after a student alleged yesterday that a teacher had slapped her.
Sudeshna Dutta, a third-year student of philosophy (honours), had alleged that Krishna Pal, a history teacher, had slapped her when she had gone to return a book she had borrowed.
She accused Pal, who is the convener of the Trinamul Congress education cell, of victimising her for being an SFI supporter.
The girl also complained that Sangeeta Raha, a teacher of philosophy department, had used filthy language and reprimanded her for not attending classes.
“We discussed the matter thoroughly today and took a decision that a meeting would be convened in a few days to hear out the versions of the two teachers, the student and her parents. We will try to solve the issue amicably,” said Malay Karanjai, the principal of the college, after a teachers’ council meeting.
Sudeshna had fainted after the slap and was admitted to the district hospital here. She was discharged today. The girl’s family also filed an FIR against Raha and Pal.
Classes were suspended at the college this afternoon and the SFI and the Trinamul Chhatra Parishad demonstrated in front of the administrative building, the former in favour of Sudeshna and the latter for Pal.