Presidency University students have begun a movement for admission tests to be brought back. The entrance tests could not be held in the past two years because of the pandemic and students were given admission on the basis of plus-II marks.
Students alleged that while the admission tests could not be held in the last two years because of the first two Covid waves, the university authorities were not taking any steps to restore the tests this year despite a dip in cases.
The state JEE board used to conduct the tests on behalf of Presidency. In the Covid pandemic, it has decided it won’t conduct the tests unless asked by the state government.
The students demanded that Presidency take steps either to hold admission tests on its own, following the model it had when it used to be a college, or write to the education department seeking approval for the tests.
The Presidency University Students’ Union held a meeting of the general body on Friday in the portico of the main building.
After the meeting, the students submitted a memorandum to the dean of students with a copy to vice-chancellor Anuradha Lohia, requesting the university administration to declare by April 1 what steps it had taken to bring back entrance tests.
Admission to the undergraduate and postgraduate levels will be conducted in a few months.
“The state JEE board, which had held the tests till 2019, would in February ask aspirants to submit applications by April. This time, they have not made any announcement. Nor have the university authorities taken any steps,” said students’ union member Debnil Paul.
He said Plus II marks-based admission that was followed in the past two years under an exigency had to stop now that on-campus activities had resumed.
Gandhi Kumar Kar, former dean of science who teaches chemistry at Presidency University, said the entrance tests were introduced so students were not admitted on the strength of their Class XII marks but screened on the basis of their command on the subject.
“Admission tests bring out the potential of an aspirant to study the programme. It gives a level playing field to all applicants. These days, the boards try to outstrip each other while giving marks generously to Class XII students. So, it is advisable to screen appli-cations through admission tests,” said Kar.
Repeated calls and text messages to VC Lohia went unanswered.
A Presidency official said they were yet to make a decision on how students would be admitted this year.
Ramakrishna Mission Vidyalaya, Narendrapur, had last year cancelled on-campus admission tests but this year have resumed them.