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Bachelors screened by marks

It will no longer be smooth sailing for Calcutta University (CU) under-graduate students appearing for their final screening tests in college. Unlike in previous years, they might not be sent up for their BA, B.Sc or B.Com finals if they fail to make the grade in all their subjects in the qualifying test.

In a bid to ensure better performance in the under-graduate examinations and also improve the standard of college results, the CU authorities have decided to run a strict check on the marks scored by candidates in their screening tests.

Though these tests are conducted independently by the colleges, the CU authorities will now send out circulars to principals of around 200 affiliated institutions, urging them to send the selection test marks to the varsity. A decision to the effect was taken by the university’s under-graduate council last week.

“We have felt the need to make it compulsory for the colleges to send the selection-test marks to us to make sure that only the deserving students are allowed to sit for the final exams. Such restrictions will ultimately improve the overall success rate of the exams,” said Suranjan Das, pro vice-chancellor, academic.

Beside sending these results to the university, the colleges will also be asked to preserve the answer-scripts of such examinations for at least two months.

“Such a measure has been taken so that university officials are able to examine the scripts when it is necessary, specially if there are complaints of improper assessment in the final exams,” added Das.

The present move is also said to be aimed at reducing the number of answer-scripts for the under-graduate exams and easing the pressure on examiners. By a rough estimate, more than 3.5 lakh examinees appear for the BA, B.Sc and B.Com exams every year.

Officials said the present move was part of a recent drive undertaken by the university to raise the academic standard of affiliated colleges. According to varsity sources, an ordinance making it mandatory for the colleges to send the selection test marks and preserve the answer-scripts had been passed several years ago. But the colleges had not followed the system due to “lack of proper supervision by the university”.

The new measure is also being viewed as one to curb the tendency among some colleges to admit students beyond their capacity in the first year. The university has recently resolved to “take drastic action” against colleges found to be admitting “excess students” to the undergraduate courses.

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