The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Hostels short, general entry test plan shelved

The state government has put on hold a recommendation of the Ramendra Kumar Poddar education committee to introduce a centralised procedure for admission of students in the state-controlled under-graduate colleges.

Some of the better-known state-controlled colleges in Calcutta are Presidency, Maulana Azad, Lady Brabourne, Bethune and Goenka College of Commerce and Business Administration.

The committee, headed by former Calcutta University vice-chancellor Poddar, had, in its report submitted last year, stressed the need for a common entrance test to all the 17 government-controlled, under-graduate colleges.

The government has set aside the recommendation temporarily, on the grounds that many of the 17 colleges lack proper hostel facilities. Adequate accommodation is a must if a centralised admission system is to be introduced, because students from the city may join institutions in the districts, and vice versa.

Sources in the higher education department, however, claim a strong opposition from students and teachers of Presidency College has prompted the government to a temporary freeze.

The students were against a centralised test as they felt it would lower the status of their institution.

The government, however, has accepted the committee’s views on raising tuition and other fees and restructuring attendance rules of teachers in government colleges.

“The committee’s recommendation on introduction of a centralised entrance test in government colleges is not feasible and that is why we have decided not to implement the decision from the current year,” said P.K. Ganguly, state director of public instruction.

According to him, the existing state of infrastructure, especially of hostel facilities, in government colleges needs to be reviewed in order to introduce the centralised admission test. “We have not totally rejected the proposal. We will be able to finalise our stand only after we complete examining the infrastructure,” said Ganguly.

Presently, each of the 17 institutions follows a separate method of admission. At Presidency, an admission test is held.

As for the committee’s recommendation for a fee hike, Ganguly said the government will not raise tuition fees now because the structure had been revised just a few months before the report was submitted. “Fees were raised considerably only a year ago,” pointed out Ganguly.

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