| A file picture of North Bengal University
Siliguri, June 6: The education department has finally given its nod to the much-awaited government-aided degree college in Malda.
A letter of no-objection from the state government has reached North Bengal University, which is planning to start courses in the new college this academic year. 'We will inspect the college premises soon and hope to start classes by July,' said vice-chancellor P.K. Saha.
NBU plans to introduce hill-oriented courses in the colleges of Darjeeling hills and Sikkim. Saha has convened a meeting of all hill principals on June 12 to discuss the issue. 'Following demands raised locally, the Centre has instructed us to start some hill-oriented courses there,' Saha said. 'The talks are at a very preliminary stage and the modalities are being chalked out. The subjects may include the hills' fragile environment, its ecology, culture, tradition and people.'
Like in previous years, the varsity expects a huge rush of admission-seekers this time too. 'The rush is mainly concentrated in some well-known colleges, while many institutes still find it difficult to get adequate number of students,' Saha said.
The NBU has directed all its affiliated colleges not to admit more than 150 students in any class. 'Despite the fact that this rule has been there since a long time, it was not strictly followed so far,' Saha said.
'The problem is mainly in case of elective subjects like Bengali and English. We have asked the colleges to split the class into sections if they are not able to accommodate students in one class,' he added.
The West Bengal State Council for Higher Education has written to the university asking it to furnish details of the number of seats available for honours and general courses in each of the arts, commerce and science streams. The council's move is aimed at assessing the need for increasing the seats in colleges, subsequent formulation of guidelines for opening new courses in the institutions and also starting new degree colleges.
In keeping with a Supreme Court guideline, the NBU has also directed the colleges to initiate the admission process within seven days and begin classes within 35 days from the date of publication of results. 'Because of the postponement of the undergraduate exams, all colleges have to conduct both the exams and admissions simultaneously,' said Nupur Das, the secretary of the NBU undergraduate council.
'No holidays or Sundays for the college staff till the exams and admissions are over,' Malay Karanjay, principal of Siliguri College, said.