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Showdown result in SLET
- JU and teacher recruitment panel clash over test performance

Jadavpur University (JU) authorities and the state college service commission are heading for a showdown over the latter’s claim that JU has stood fourth in terms of the performance of its students in the examinations conducted by the commission this year for recruiting teachers in state-aided colleges in Bengal.

Challenging the commission’s observation, JU has written to the West Bengal College Service Commission authorities, seeking a detailed report on the performance of JU students in this year’s State-Level Eligibility Test (SLET). The JU authorities have also asked the commission to clarify on what basis the university has been ranked so low. “We believe that, like our students in the engineering and technology faculties, who have excelled in all state and national-level competitive exams, our post-graduates in the science and humanities faculties are also capable of performing well in the competitive exams in their areas. We want to know how the position of our students has gone down in SLET. We will be able to get the real picture as soon as we get the reply from the college service commission,” said Rajat Banerjee, JU registrar.

Declaring the results of the current year’s SLET last month, Ajit Banik, chairman, West Bengal College Service Commission, had announced that the largest number of post-graduates who passed the SLET this year was from Calcutta University (CU). Students of Rabindra Bharati University were second to CU. They were followed by Kalyani University. Jadavpur’s students ended up fourth.

The commission’s announcement came as a blow to JU, the only institute of its kind in the state to be accorded the status of a centre of excellence by the central government for the high standards maintained by its engineering and technology faculties. The Centre has also declared it as one of the five best universities in the country.

JU vice-chancellor Ashok Nath Basu had reacted promptly to the commission’s statement on May 15, the day the SLET results were announced. Initially, Basu and his officials had justified the poor performance saying that fewer JU students appeared in the exam compared to students of other universities.

Commission chairman Banik, however, said JU was placed fourth on the basis of statistics. He rejected the JU vice-chancellor’s claim that fewer students had taken the test, compared to those from other universities. Statistics available with the commission revealed that 300 students of JU had appeared in the SLET this year. Only 18 of them had passed the exam.

“The ranks of the universities were calculated taking into consideration the proportion of the total number of applicants from each of the universities and the number of students who passed among them,” said Banik.

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