All colleges have also been asked to rationalize their seats. Last year, as many as 110 colleges across Bengal had 50% of seats vacant. University VCs have been told to hold virtual meetings with all principals and inspectors of colleges to take a call on rationalisation of seats.
Universities have also been told to start inviting applications as soon as the boards publish the results so that the first semester could begin by October 1. Like last year, the students will not be required to pay any application fees. Universities have also been asked to conduct online exams and publish results at the earliest.
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State universities that held entrance tests are in a fix following the announcement. Even those universities and colleges that do not usually hold entrance tests were keen on some sort of admission test this year to screen students after the different boards councils — both state and national — cancelled their Class XII exams.
“The government has made a decision. We will now wait for advice from the West Bengal Joint Entrance Examinations Board that conducts the entrance exam,” said Presidency VC Anuradha Lohia. The university had scheduled admission tests in August.
Sources said the WBJEE chairman was asked by higher education officials on how the decision to take the Presidency University Bachelor’s Degree Entrance Test (PUBDET) and the PG entrance tests were announced despite the state government’s advisory to scrap all entrance tests other than WBJEE.
Jadavpur University registrar Snehamanju Basu said the admission committee of respective faculties would meet and take a call on the admission criteria for the UG programmes after VC informs the university officials of the state government’s decision. St Xavier’s University is going ahead with the tests. “The government’s decision is for state-run universities. We are going ahead with our admissions on the scheduled dates,” said VC Fr Felix Raj.
Another key decision taken at Wednesday’s meeting was to adopt women study centres (WSC) that no longer receive UGC funds. The VCs were told to submit information on WSCs to begin the adoption process.