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Jadavpur University exam chief on ‘long leave’

Official’s request granted amid result controversy
The letter by vice-chancellor Suranjan Das requesting Das to take over as officiating controller of examinations says: “The controller of examination is going on a long leave. It will be highly appreciated if during the absence of the CoE you can officiate as the controller of examinations. I make this request for the interest of the university and do hope that you will kindly accept the request.”

Subhankar Chowdhury   |   Calcutta   |   Published 07.01.21, 01:40 AM

Jadavpur University’s controller of examinations has gone on a “long leave” at a time his office has been pilloried by students over allegations of errors in results and delay in the publication of results.

In the absence of Satyaki Bhattacharya, Subarna Das, a professor of library and information science department, has been told to function as the controller of examinations from Thursday.

The letter by vice-chancellor Suranjan Das requesting Das to take over as officiating controller of examinations says: “The controller of examination is going on a long leave. It will be highly appreciated if during the absence of the CoE you can officiate as the controller of examinations. I make this request for the interest of the university and do hope that you will kindly accept the request.”

Bhattacharya told Metro: “I had sought leave earlier on health grounds and the university has granted me leave.”

JU officials said Bhattacharya had indeed sought leave but the leave was granted in the wake of the many allegations that have dogged the publication of results. 

Although the letter issued to Bhattacharya does not say what would be the period of leave, an official said he would be on leave till his retirement in September.

“The delay in the publication of results and errors in them were at the heart of the latest students’ unrest on the campus. The university had to take moral responsibility for the lapses. So at a time like this, when his leave application was pending, the university immediately granted him a long leave,” said an official.

On December 27, JU had decided to “accept moral responsibility” for the loss of scholarships that students might have suffered because of a delay in the publication of semester results and pledged to raise funds “to compensate for the loss of such scholarships/fellowships” at a meeting attended by senior officials and representatives of the students’ union of the engineering and technology faculty.

Referring to the delayed publication of results, a BTech student said the results of the odd semester examinations, which ended on December 22, 2019, were published in November 2020.

Results are supposed to be published within two months of the completion of an examination.

Listing the flaws, he said two results with separate scores had been issued to one student and there were instances of one student having been issued another’s result.

“Marks had been erroneously entered. Because of delayed publication of flawed results, many students could not upload their marks on designated portals to renew scholarships,” the student said.

A JU official said underprivileged students get a slew of scholarships offered by the state government and the Centre.

“A student has to upload marks of the two previous semesters and parents’ income certificates on a portal by the end of a year to renew a scholarship. Since the results of the odd semester exams, which were held on December 22, 2019, were published in November 2020 and the grade cards contained errors, students missed out on scholarships,” the official said.

The matter came to such a pass that VC Das had to appeal to the state government to keep the scholarship portals active beyond December 31.

When Metro sought to know from the VC whether lapses in the publication of the results prompted the university to send the controller of examinations on leave, he said: “He had sought leave.”

Teachers’ organisations submitted a memorandum to the university on Monday saying: "We feel the delay in holding examinations and the publication of faulty results is largely due to the non-functional state of affairs in the examination section of the university.”

Two posts of assistant controller of exams that have been lying vacant will be filled, said an official.

The JU executive council had in April 2019 set up a three-member committee to look into allegations that Bhattacharya had been taking “unauthorised” result publication fees for various courses. The allegations could not be substantiated.

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