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JU’s course route to skirt test

Jadavpur University will introduce five-year integrated MA/MSc courses from the 2014-15 academic year in an attempt to bypass the common entrance test for postgraduate courses the state government is introducing this year.

The university also decided to admit its undergraduate students to postgraduate courses following the existing rule, which allows “automatic promotion”.

Both decisions were taken at a meeting of the executive council, the highest decision-making body of the university, on Tuesday.

Vice-chancellor Shouvik Bhattacharyya walked out half-way through the meeting around 6pm and read out the resolution before students.

“We want to start integrated programmes (combining BA and MA, and BSc and MSc) from the 2014-15 academic year. The executive council has also adopted a resolution that the university intends to admit undergraduate students (to postgraduate courses) through the existing mode,” said Bhattacharyya.

The university will convey the council’s decision to the higher education department, which has asked the higher education council to hold the common entrance test for postgraduate courses at all state universities from the 2013-14 academic year.

Students who will be admitted to undergraduate courses this year will gain entry to master’s programmes following the existing rule, said registrar Pradip Ghosh.

Once integrated courses are launched, the conventional courses will be phased out.

“The integrated courses will help us bypass the common test. The university, however, will fill up postgraduate seats that will remain vacant after admitting its students through the common entrance test,” clarified an executive council member.

“Students take admission in JU after HS in the belief that they will be granted automatic promotion to master’s courses. So, we just can’t ask the undergraduate students to crack the common entrance test to gain berths in our postgraduate courses,” the member added.

Of the 20 boards of studies at JU, 19 had opposed the government’s decision to start the common test. On Monday, Bhattacharyya attended an “open session” with around 500 students who demanded that the authorities convey to the government their objection to the test.