Calcutta University: No interest in Increase in Seat Intake Unless Directed By State Education Department; Read More

Samrat Roy Samrat Roy
Exam Prep Master

Colleges under Calcutta University (CU) do not intend to increase seats in the undergraduate programme this year unless there is an instruction to do so from the state education department. On the contrary, in the 2020-2021 academic session, seats have been slashed in a dozen colleges affiliated to CU due to reasons ranging from lack of demand among students to infrastructural constraints.

With a record 100 students in the West Bengal Higher Secondary Examination in multiple subjects, many are apprehensive that in a number of streams, particularly in high schools, even students with scores in the mid-90s may not get a chance.

There are 160 colleges under the aegis of the University of Calcutta. Following the release of the HS results on Friday, CU is preparing to release the list of seats that will be available for grabs in individual colleges this year.

In the 90% club, the number has increased four-fold since last year. In 2019, as many as 7,818 students received 90% marks, while in 2018, the number was 5,248. In the previous three years, the figures for 2017, 2016 and 2015 were 3,302, 3,829 and 2,710 respectively.

This year, the number shot up to 30,220.

The first-division bracket — over 60 per cent — has 3,22,056 students this year, a total of 58,907 more than last year.

The decision on when to start the distribution of admission forms for state-aided colleges will be taken on Tuesday.

With a large section of students securing very high marks, individual colleges are also planning to raise the cut-off bar.

Several college principals indicated that they were likely to hold a meeting with the college boards of directors in the coming week to determine the policy of taking part in the undergraduate honours programs for subjects for whom the HS exams were not held.

These include physics, chemistry, statistics, education, nutrition, accounting, economics, geography, costing and taxation.

Sources in the school education department pointed to the marking system adopted by the HS Council following the Syllabus Reforms Committee's sanction as a reason for the increase in the number of marks.

"Students did not appear for testing in three major subjects out of six, and the best score obtained in the published paper was repeated as the subject marks of the suspended examinations," Bikash Bhavan said.

He added that it was not a reflection of merit in all subjects.

A student intending to study physics at the first college in Kolkata will not be on the exam.

However, according to HS policy, since the student may have secured 100 marks in English and Bengali, while only 60 marks in mathematics, he or she will be allowed to obtain 100 marks in suspended papers, such as physics, chemistry and statistics.

"In this case, although the student wants to study physics, his or her merit is not assessed. English can not be a determining factor in his or her ability in science subjects. Marks secured in mathematics will be left out because the aggregate is always on the best of five subjects. Is this a valid basis for evaluating a student who may choose to study major physics or chemistry at a later date? Thus, we are planning to take another look at the admission cut-offs in the suspended HS papers, "added the Principal.

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