The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Poll pushback for test timetable
- Election sparks reschedule rush for under-graduate exams

Elections have scored over examinations, yet again. With the Election Commission (EC) pegging May 10 as poll day in Bengal, the Calcutta University (CU) authorities have been forced to push back a number of undergraduate examinations.

The day after the EC announced dates for the Lok Sabha elections, the university authorities scrambled to reschedule examinations, affecting nearly 200,000 examinees.

The B.Com, BA and B.Sc Part I (Honours) exams will be among those to be postponed, the CU authorities said on Monday. Some Part II papers, too, look set to be deferred.

The university will have to postpone papers as most of its 200-odd affiliated colleges, where the examinations are to be conducted, will be taken over by the election department.

“We will have to defer the dates of a number of under-graduate examinations for the May 10 Lok Sabha polls. We are trying to revise the exam schedule. We will ensure that the students are not inconvenienced by the new dates,” assured Suranjan Das, CU pro vice-chancellor, academic affairs.

The deferment of the exams will also upset the academic calendar of the university this year. After years of disorder, CU had managed to regularise the academic calendar by conducting major under-graduate examinations during the summer vacations from last year.

“The elections will definitely disrupt the academic calendar again, but we will have to bear with this,” said Das, adding that preliminary discussions for fixing the new dates were held on Monday. “Steps are being taken to finalise the new dates as soon as possible,” said Das.

According to varsity officials, apart from the B.Com Part I and BA, B.Sc Part I examinations, tests in all subjects for the BA, B.Sc and B.Com Part II examinations, slated for May 7, are also likely to be pushed back.

The Part II examinations start on April 16, with May 7 the scheduled final day. But according to the rules of the EC, the college premises will have to be handed over to the election department at least three days before polling is conducted.

The university will not be able to use the college campuses again as examination venues till completion of the entire election procedure — from polling to counting of votes to announcement of results. This effectively rules out the May 7 and May 11 options as exam dates.

The B.Com Part I exams are scheduled to begin on May 11. The BA, B.Sc Part I examinations are slated to start from June 4.

The entire schedule of these examinations will have to be revised, as a chain reaction to the deferment of the B.Com Part I examinations, officials said.

Students, especially Part II examinees, however, are especially worried over the deferment of the examinations as this could lead to a delay in the announcement of results.

“A deferment of exam dates could prove crucial, as this is a precursor to a pushback of results, jeopardising our chances to leave the city for higher studies,” said a student preparing for his Part II.

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