PG entrance test shelved

The state higher education department has decided not to hold the common postgraduate entrance test this year following moves by the top universities to bypass it while admitting students to the master's courses.

Sources said plans by Presidency and Jadavpur universities to start five-year courses integrating the graduation and master's curricula, so that they do not have to admit students through the common test, had almost forced the department's hand.

"The objective behind the test was to allow students from every university in Bengal a chance to study in the best universities in Calcutta. If that does not happen, what is the point of starting the common admission test?" asked an official of the higher education department after a meeting on the test on Tuesday.

Academicians and administrators across campuses in Calcutta said the proposed test might undermine the performance of students in the undergraduate exams conducted by the top universities. They also spoke about differences in graduation syllabus at various universities.

The universities were supposed to give a minimum of 50 per cent weight to the marks scored in the common test.

"There has been no formal notification but we are relieved to learn that the test won't be held this year. Otherwise, the universities' role in admitting students would have been curbed," said an English teacher at JU.

At Tuesday's meeting, college service commission chairman Siddhartha Mazumdar sought time to hold the test that about 160,000 students were expected to take. The test was due in June, when the commission remains busy with the exam to recruit college teachers.

A higher education council official said: "The commission needs more time to hold the test, which is another reason why we had to shelve the plan."

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