KOLKATA: Students of Jadavpur University launched a hunger strike from Friday night onwards and have threatened to launch an indefinite stir if the decision to remove entrance exam for admission into arts subjects is not revoked within 12 pm on Sunday. While 20 arts students have launched the hunger strike, student unions from science and engineering faculties along with Jadavpur University Teachers' Association (JUTA) have extended their support to the agitation.
Besides the hunger strike, the agitating students are also planning picketing and boycott of classes if the decision is not revoked by the ultimatum. "We will wait till tomorrow (Sunday) afternoon for Executive Council meeting. If the meeting doesn't take place and no positive decision is taken than we would go on hunger strike for indefinite period", Arts Faculty Student's Union (AFSU) chairperson Somashree Chowdhury said.
Alarmed by the agitation, university vice-chancellor Suranjan Das met Governor Keshari Nath Tripathi, apprised him of the situation and sought his suggestions. Sources revealed that vexed by the agitation, the vice-chancellor had even proposed to resign from his post but the Governor dissuaded him from doing so.
"Governor has sought a report on the situation which we will send today (Saturday). After Executive Council of the university takes a resolution, we need approval from the vice-chancellor for any amendment if we intend to do it. We are also expecting suggestions from the Governor after submission of report to him. While there is little possibility of the vice-chancellor making any change to the decision, he has the final authority for any changes," JU registrar Chiranjib Bhattacharjee said.
Students of Kolkata's prestigious Jadavpur University erupted in protests and gheraoed vice-chancellor Suranjan Das on July 4 after the university Executive Council decided to do away with entrance exams for admission to six arts subjects in favour of admission on the basis of Class XII marks, despite protests of students and teachers.
While the teachers and students claimed that the move will allow the state government to push Trinamool Congress youth cadres into the Leftist bastion university, education minister Partha Chatterjee said that the move will ensure 'uniformity' in the admission process. Students are admitted to science faculty of JU on the basis of their Class XII results.