The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Comparative grouse spurs affiliation rerun

The state government is reviving plans to switch the affiliation of some colleges in South 24-Parganas from Calcutta University (CU) to Jadavpur.

The initiative follows simmering resentment among the comparative literature pass-outs of Jadavpur University (JU). They complain of an absence of teaching jobs in colleges in Bengal, as not a single university in the state, apart from theirs (JU), offers under-graduate and post-graduate courses in comparative literature. Graduates don’t even get teaching jobs in schools, as none of the education boards in the state offers this subject at the school level.

The government — in a bid to ease the burden on CU — had urged JU some years ago to affiliate some South 24-Parganas colleges. The Jadavpur institution authorities had expressed their unwillingness to take on the extra burden as it would hamper the high standards of their engineering and technology faculties, as well as their research activities.

“The grouse of the comparative literature students is a long-standing one. We are in touch with the government to seek a solution,” said JU registrar Rajat Banerjee. He, however, withheld comment on the affiliation issue.

Sources in the state higher education department said the government was planning to ask JU to reconsider its proposal. Explaining the plan, the officials said that since JU is the only university in the state to offer courses in comparative literature, it would be able to teach the subject in the under-graduate colleges once they are affiliated to it.

And when the colleges unveil the course at their under-graduate level, they will require faculty members for teaching the subject. This, in turn, will generate job opportunities for the JU post-graduates in comparative literature.

Officials said the government initiative follows the recent JU appeal to officials of the West Bengal College Service Commission — the panel that recruits teachers for state-aided colleges — that post-graduates in comparative literature be allowed to appear in the recruitment tests.

The commission has rejected the appeal on the grounds that the subject is taught nowhere in any other university at the under-graduate level.

However, Ajit Banik, chairman, West Bengal College Service Commission, said an expert committee had been set up to find out if post-graduates in comparative literature could be recruited for teaching English and Bengali at the under-graduate level of other universities.

The committee found that the portion of the English and Bengali syllabi covered by JU in its comparative literature course was not sufficient to enable the pass-outs in the subject to teach English and Bengali at the under-graduate levels in other universities.

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