The Telegraph
Saturday , June 29 , 2013

Poll shadow on exams

The undergraduate examinations of Calcutta University, to be taken by more than 1.5 lakh students, will have to be rescheduled a second time because of the new panchayat poll dates ordered by the Supreme Court.

The undergraduate admission roster for the 137 colleges affiliated to CU will also have to be revised.

According to the new schedule, the rural polls end on July 25 and the results are likely by July-end or early August. This means the undergraduate exams can only be held in August, a delay of over one-and-a-half months compared with the original schedule.

CU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das said the new exam dates would be finalised next week. “We can announce the exam dates only after we get to know when the election results will be out.”

The university’s plan to declare undergraduate results before the Puja has also gone for a toss because of the postponement of the exams. “A delay in the publication of the results would push back the commencement of classes in the subsequent sessions,” said an official.

A late transition to the next academic year would also curtail the number of classes if the subsequent exams are to be held in time and force students to study a part of the syllabus on their own.

A CU official explained how the students would suffer. “BA and BSc Part II honours students wrote their honours papers between May 18 and 22. But they are yet to write their elective papers. The exams of the elective papers were deferred by a month when the schedule was earlier revised because of the panchayat polls. Now it is clear that the exams can’t be held before August. It means third-year classes for both honours and general degree courses can’t start before September,” said the official.

Ideally, third-year classes should start in July, the official pointed out.

The Part III test which determines who would be allowed to write the finals in April is due in January. The students will get only three months — classes can’t be held in October because of the Puja — to prepare for the test.

CU officials said there is no certainty that the Part II and Part III exams next year could be held on time as the Lok Sabha polls are likely in May.

“The Part II and Part III final exams are scheduled for May and June. Since the parliamentary polls are going to be held around that time, the exams will have to be deferred,” said an official.

The CU authorities had earlier announced that undergraduate admission would start on July 15 and first-year classes in the first week of August. “That schedule, too, will change,” said a CU official.

The state JEE board said its admission schedule would remain unchanged as only one of the 27 remote admission centres would be taken up for the elections.