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Union demands increase in PG seats at NBU
- Cong student wing threatens agitation

Siliguri, Aug. 3: The Chhatra Parishad has threatened to launch an agitation if the North Bengal University doesn’t increase the number of postgraduate seats this year.

Leaders of the Chhatra Parishad-backed students’ union at the NBU said although the university had sanctioned more undergraduate seats at the colleges affiliated to it in the past five years or so, there had been no corresponding increase in the number of PG seats during the period.

“The colleges under the NBU are adding more UG seats every year, resulting in a rise in the number of pass outs. However, the university hasn’t sanctioned more seats at PG level for nearly five years and most of the graduates can’t purse PG at the NBU. We have demanded that the varsity increase the seats in both regular and distance courses so that majority of the students can pursue masters at the NBU,” said Muktinath Sharma, the president of the students’ union.

The university started its PG admission for this year’s regular courses on July 2. The merit list of students is due to be published on Monday. For the distance courses, the admission process will start on August 16.

The Chhatra Parishad said even though around 7,000 students of honours courses and around 10,000 of the general stream passed out of colleges every year, the PG seats for regular and distant courses were just 1,600 and 2,600 respectively. “There is a huge disparity in the number of students passing out of colleges and the PG seats available at the NBU. Only around 1,600 seats are in the regular stream while about 7,000 honours students pass out every year. The disparity is even greater when it comes to the distance stream as only 2,600 PG seats are available for 10,000 students who become graduates. We demand that the seats in both regular and distance modes be increased considerably so as to accommodate all students at the varsity,” said Sharma.

The Chhatra Parishad will submit a memorandum to vice-chancellor Samir Kumar Das and joint registrar S.C. Das on Monday when the merit list will be published.

“We shall submit our memorandum to the VC and the joint registrar, requesting them to concede to our demand of increasing the PG seats. If they fail to meet the demand, we will resort to agitation and would even halt the admission process,” warned Sharma.

The VC and other officials could not be contacted.