The entrance to Darjeeling Government College on Lebong Cart Road. Picture by Suman Tamang
Darjeeling, Sept. 14: The post-graduate results of Darjeeling Government College’s Nepali department has been withheld by the university which has asked instead for “term papers” or dissertations of the nine examinees, triggering speculation that the institute was being targeted because of its consistent good results over the years.
North Bengal University claimed that the matter was confidential and related to an RTI application and so could not be discussed with the media.
College principal Dipak Roy, while threatening that the institute might explore legal options, said the rule does not allow for any re-evaluation of term papers which has been already checked by university-appointed professors. Nor is it mandatory, he said, to provide the university with the papers once more for whatsoever reason.
The results of all other students who appeared for the fourth semester at the postgraduate level were published on August 24.
Five days later when the nine students wrote to university controller S. Das requesting him to release their results, the official wrote back to the principal saying the college authorities should send the “term papers” of the students to the university.
“In persuasion of the resolution taken in the meeting dated August 16, 2011, by the Board of Studies, Nepali, you are requested to arrange to send the term paper of the following students of Semester-IV at Darjeeling Government College centre for necessary action at this end to comply with the aforesaid resolution of the board,” the letter read.
A post-graduate student has to sit for four general papers of 50 marks each and two special papers of 100 during the fourth semester.
Only one term paper of 50 marks has to be submitted during the semester. Term papers are like dissertations submitted to the college by the students but are evaluated by university-appointed teachers. The scores have to be sent to the university while tabulating the final marksheet. The remaining 50 of the 400 marks is kept for viva voce.
The principal said he was surprised that the two members of the university board of studies who are teachers of the college were not informed about the August 16 meeting mentioned in the letter, despite the fact that the resolution adopted was related to the college. This fact was brought to the notice of the university by the head of the Nepali department, Sujata Rani Rai.
In her letter to the university joint registrar S.C. Das, Rai said: “I would like to draw your attention to the fact that this department has two existing elected members of the PG Board of Studies in Nepali. It is surprising that both the members of this institution were unaware of this meeting where such a crucial issue (to seek for term papers) of this department was discussed.” The board of studies is in charge of a particular subject and frames syllabus and questions and chalks out exam schedules.
The NBU’s decision, according to college authorities, is a result of a “badly hurt ego” given the fact that students here performed well at the postgraduate level. Rai said since the PG course was introduced in the college nine years ago, there have been two university toppers from the college.
“And our overall results have been consistently very good. For example, in the second semester, we had seven first classes,” the head of the department said.
Principal Ray said there was no rule in the university, which stated that dissertations can be re-evaluated. “All the more, because they have been evaluated once by university-appointed teachers. Also, how can the university declare results partially. Our students have been topping the university quite a few times and according to our source, the same trend has been repeated this year. The move by the NBU looks like a fallout of a badly hurt ego as ‘their’ students are not topping the exam,” he said.
By “their students” Ray meant those who have got admitted to postgraduate course on the NBU campus itself.
“But we are exploring options of going to court. Students are suffering as those who want to pursue PhD have to file their application for the entrance examination by September end. But the PG results have not yet been published,” said Ray.
The university was not very forthcoming in its argument. “The students have filed an application under the RTI and since this is a confidential matter I cannot speak to the media on this issue,” said controller Das said.