Presidency University tweaks criteria for humanities
Presidency University has decided to allow students from the ISC-ICSE council to apply to study undergraduate courses in five humanities subjects even if they didn’t have math and science in their Class X course.
Till the condition was withdrawn on Thursday, the university was not allowing ICSE candidates who had pursued pure humanities from Class IX to apply to study undergraduate courses in humanities. Those candidates had written to the Presidency authorities drawing their attention to the problem they were facing.
The ISC-ICSE council allows students to study pure humanities, and no science subjects at all, from Class IX.
The university has tweaked the format allowing applicants not to mention the marks of math and science at the secondary level while applying to study honours in English, history, political science, Bengali and Hindi, an official of the university said.
However, three departments — sociology, philosophy and performing arts — will still give weightage to the marks in mathematics in the Class X board exams while drawing up the merit list. “The students who will apply to study any of these courses will have to mention their math marks in the Class X board exams,” the official said.
But why are these three departments, unlike other humanities departments, still giving weightage to Class X math marks?
“Those studying these subjects need to have sound logical and analytical skills. Till last year, the admission tests for these subjects would focus on such skills. Since admission tests are not being held this year because of the Covid pandemic, the departments are giving weightage to the candidates’ math marks in the Class X board exams to assess their logical and analytical skills,” the official said.
“As the West Bengal Board of Secondary Education and the CBSE do not offer the option of pursuing pure humanities from Class IX, the students of these boards did not encounter any problem. Now, we have introduced a mechanism whereby an applicant can keep the columns of science subjects blank while applying for the five humanities subjects,” another Presidency official.
The schools affiliated to the ICSE council ask students whether they want to pursue pure humanities when they are promoted from Class VIII to IX. “Sometimes students make up their mind to pursue pure humanities from Class IX and do not want to burden themselves with science subjects,” he said.
Why did this provision of the council escape the attention of the Presidency authorities?
A professor said Presidency did not have to factor in the marks of the secondary board exams as students over the past four years were being admitted on the basis of admission tests only.
Before that, students used to be admitted on the basis of equal weightage to the admission test and plus-II board scores.
As admissions tests are not being held this year, the authorities decided to consider the Class X and Class XII board exam scores while drawing up the merit lists. “While finalising the eligibility criteria, this provision of the council escaped our attention,” he said.