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JU to tweak criteria after Partha criticism

Education department to soon issue an advisory containing assessment parameters
Partha Chatterjee

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 22.06.20, 02:14 AM

Jadavpur University plans to review the evaluation criteria for undergraduate final-semester students of humanities following criticism from education minister Partha Chatterjee for fixing the criteria unilaterally, officials at the university said.

The minister criticised JU at a meeting with vice-chancellors on June 13 because the unilateral fixing of criteria went against the education department’s decision to have a uniform assessment criteria across all universities.

“A meeting of our examination board has been called this week to tweak the evaluation criteria in accordance with the government’s recommendation. A government advisory containing assessment parameters will soon be issued,” a JU official said.

Partha Chatterjee told The Telegraph on Sunday: “The department will soon issue the guideline. Now, it is up to the universities to decide what to do.”

He, however, did not say what the guidelines would contain. Nor did he comment on his criticism of JU.

At the June 13 meeting, JU was represented by pro-VCs Chiranjeeb Bhattacharya and Pradip Ghosh. One of them briefed Chatterjee about the assessment criteria for engineering and arts students.

The day before, the university had decided that the undergraduate final-semester students in the arts faculty would be assessed by giving 60 per cent weightage to the marks in previous semester exams and the rest to internal assessment.

Sources said the June 13 meeting decided that equal weightage would be given to previous semester exams and internal assessment, in line with a UGC guideline.

The sources said Chatterjee did not comment on the criteria for engineering students because the All India Council for Technical Education has left it to the institutes to decide on the mode of assessment for graduating BTech students.

The UGC guideline on exams and academic calendar, in view of the Covid-19 pandemic, says the universities may while assessing students award equal weightage to previous performance and the internal assessment.

 The Telegraph had on June 14 reported that the VCs suggested the model recommended by the UGC.

Repeated calls to the two pro-VCs went unanswered. Calls to VC Suranjan Das, too, did not elicit any response.

A JU official said the university could not be blamed for fixing the assessment criteria of arts students.

He said that during an earlier interaction with the department, it was said that the universities were free to decide on the assessment parameters on their own.

“Now, when a university has proceeded on its own, it is being criticised,” he said.

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