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Jadavpur trips at SLET door

Jadavpur University (JU) had beaten Calcutta University (CU) in the recent Central government-sponsored exercise, involving assessment of academic excellence of campuses, in which JU was among the top five of the country’s 25 best institutions.

But JU’s post-graduates lag in clearing the State Level Eligibility Tests (SLET) —conducted every year for recruitment of college teachers. In fact, JU falls behind not only CU, but several other state-aided universities in the districts. A majority of the candidates who qualified for SLET 2003 — results of which were declared on Thursday — are post-graduates of CU.

Announcing the results, Ajit Banik, chairman of the West Bengal College Service Commission, the state-controlled agency that conducts SLET, said: “A quick analysis of the results revealed that, compared with any other state-aided university in Bengal, the highest number of post-graduates of Calcutta University have crossed the SLET hurdle this year. Very few among those who have passed are from JU, and this trend has been noticed for the past few years.”

After CU, Banik revealed, stands Burdwan University. Others, like the universities of Kalyani, Vidyasagar and North Bengal, are ahead of JU. Banik felt the reason could be that the JU post-graduate syllabi do not quite match the SLET syllabi, while those of CU do.

Ashoke Nath Basu, JU vice-chancellor, however, felt that fewer post-graduates had cleared SLET simply because fewer examinees had taken the test from JU. He, however, said he would look into the results debacle.

On the other side, CU officials said a drive was taken up by the university recently to remodel its under-graduate and post-graduate courses. The aim was to restructure the syllabi on the model of the SLET syllabi. They said this makeover may have helped CU candidates.

This year, SLET has shown a success rate of 4.9 per cent. Last year, the rate had been 3.8 per cent. In all, 5,723 candidates had written the test for 2003, of whom 280 have passed. The exams were held in February for recruiting lecturers in 20 subjects in the three streams.

Successful candidates will be eligible for recruitment in any of the state-aided colleges in Bengal and Tripura. They will also be entitled to apply for all state-funded research fellowships in the two states.

According to College Service Commission chairman Banik, the success rate has improved in some disciplines in which examinees had fared poorly last year. For example, the pass percentage in mathematics and statistics this year is 3.63, against 1.6 per cent last year.

Banik felt the success rate in SLET needed a boost. “The overall pass percentage has dropped considerably since 1999. We may find it difficult to fill up the vacancies in college teaching posts in the coming years if the success rate continues to decline,” he warned.

The SLET results will be displayed at the Commission office in Bhavani Dutta Lane, the College Street campus of Calcutta University, Jadavpur University and Burdwan University.

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