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State Eligibility Test: State government rejects plea to postpone exam

Notice issued to vice-chancellors and principals to conduct SET

Subhankar Chowdhury | Published 08.01.22, 02:16 AM
State Eligibility Test (SET) to be held on January 9.

State Eligibility Test (SET) to be held on January 9.

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The state government has stuck to its decision of holding State Eligibility Test (SET) on campuses on January 9, striking down an appeal by a section of college teachers to postpone the exam to a suitable date following a upsurge in Covid cases.

A notice that was issued to the vice-chancellors of the state-aided universities and principals of the government and government-aided colleges on Friday by a deputy secretary of the department says: “The vice-chancellors… will conduct the said examination with the involvement of the concerned teachers, officer and non-teaching staff. All the teaching….who are assigned the examination duty are requested to cooperate for the smooth conduct….”.

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The teachers under the ambit of West Bengal Government College Teachers’ Association appealed to chief minister Mamata Banerjee and education minister Bratya Basu on Thursday.

The college service commission will conduct the exam on Sunday at 189 centres in 68 sub-divisions across the state for the appointment of assistant professors. 

The exam will start at 10.30am and end at 2pm and 83,000-odd candidates are likely to write the test.

Dipak Kar, the chairman of the commission said they  have taken a slew of measures, which, he said, would be adequate to conduct the test following the physical distancing norms and safety protocols.

The candidates don’t have to go beyond his or her district to write the test. They can appear in the exams at the sub-division level.

The commission has increased the number of centres almost by two-and-a-half times compared to the arrangements when the test was last held in January 2020, to avoid crowding at the venues.

“Only one student will occupy each bench to maintain the physical distancing norm. The candidates’ body temperature will be checked by a thermal gun at entry points. I think adequate measures have been taken,” said chairman Kar, who is also the vice-chancellor of Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University and principal of Asutosh College.

Asked about the concerns raised by the fellow principals, Kar told Metro: “Have we stopped going to the market in our day-to-day life? If that is not the case, then the candidates can come to write the test in strict adherence to the safety protocols”

Debasish Sarkar, the general secretary of the teachers’ association, said they are disappointed with the decision and fail to understand why the test cannot be pushed to a suitable date, given the worsening situation prompting the state government to close the campuses from Monday.

“The teachers want the test to be held at a suitable time that will not pose any risk to the candidates and the teaching and non-teaching staff. We still want the government to reconsider the decision,” said Sarkar, who is also a principal of Chandernagore College.

A principal said the West Bengal University of Health Sciences has postponed all impending exams with effect from Friday due to the surge in cases.

The commission has increased the number of centres almost by two-and-a-half times compared to the arrangements when the test was last held in January 2020, to avoid crowding at the venues.

“Only one student will occupy each bench to maintain the physical distancing norm. The candidates’ body temperature will be checked by a thermal gun at entry points. I think adequate measures have been taken,” said chairman Kar, who is also the vice-chancellor of Sidho-Kanho-Birsha University and principal of Asutosh College.

Asked about the concerns raised by the fellow principals, Kar told Metro: “Have we stopped going to the market in our day-to-day life? If that is not the case, then the candidates can come to write the test in strict adherence to the safety protocols”

Debasish Sarkar, the general secretary of the teachers’ association, said they are disappointed with the decision and fail to understand why the test cannot be pushed to a suitable date, given the worsening situation prompting the state government to close the campuses from Monday.

“The teachers want the test to be held at a suitable time that will not pose any risk to the candidates and the teaching and non-teaching staff. We still want the government to reconsider the decision,” said Sarkar, who is also a principal of Chandernagore College.

A principal said the West Bengal University of Health Sciences has postponed all impending exams with effect from Friday due to the surge in cases.

“Due to the unprecedented surge of Covid-19 situation, the subsequent restriction and weekend curfew in many states, the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana (KVPY) aptitude test on January 9 has been postponed in the larger interest of students. So we are not making a baseless argument,” he said.

Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana, funded by the department of science and technology, works to attract exceptionally highly motivated students for pursuing basic science courses and research in science.

Last updated on 08.01.22, 04:21 AM
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