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Students set quit deadline for V-C

Guwahati, March 27: After forcing a purge in the Board of Secondary Education, Assam, in the aftermath of the matric question-paper leak, the All Assam Students’ Union (AASU) today gave Gauhati University vice-chancellor G.N. Talukdar 100 hours to step down from his post for failing to hold examinations on schedule.

In a letter to the vice-chancellor, the student organisation warned of a “massive” agitation if he did not pay heed to its diktat.

AASU president Sankar Prasad Roy said Talukdar had assured a delegation that he would ensure that examinations were conducted before the Assembly polls and would accept “moral responsibility” if that did not happen. “He has failed and should step down.”

This is for the first time in the history of the 50-year-old university that any organisation had asked the vice-chancellor to resign.

“Talukdar was given enough scope and time to streamline the examination system. But he has failed to perform his primary duty of holding examinations on time. We had met him before the announcement of the dates for the Assembly polls and the vice-chancellor assured us that all examinations would be over before the elections. Now most examinations, including those for students of law and graduation courses, would be held only after the polls,” Roy said.

Samujjal Bhattacharyya, adviser to the AASU, said the university had not only failed to schedule examinations on time but also postponed MA, MSc and MCom examinations in some subjects by citing “unavailability” of question papers.

“This is unprecedented. Never before was there an occasion when the university had had to postpone any examination because of unavailability of question papers. Talukdar has lost credibility and does not deserve to hold such a prestigious post after pushing thousands of students to the brink,” he said.

Most students planning to go outside the state for higher studies will not be able to do so because of the delay in holding examinations for students of the three-year degree courses in arts, science and commerce.

In each of the last four years, degree examinations were conducted in February, enabling the university to declare results around the time when universities elsewhere in the country do so. This year, the Part I, II and III (new course) and Part I and II (old course) examinations have all been rescheduled.

The Part III (new course) and Part II (old course) examinations are slated from April 19, while the Part II (new course) and Part I (old course) examinations will be conducted from May 15. The Part I (new course) examination will commence on May 30.

The two-man inquiry committee that probed the allegedly faulty evaluation of answerscripts of degree examinations last year had made 10 recommendations, including the introduction of a centralised evaluation system, an updated list of examiners and early payment of remuneration to them. The AASU said not a single recommendation had been implemented so far.

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