Darjeeling 16th July 2016: 56 students from the Darjeeling Hills, all affiliated to North Bengal University denied the right to sit for admission test today for Masters Program at Education Department, Visva Bharati due to the delayed final results which are yet to be declared by NBU
56 Students who had travelled all the way to Bolpur to sit for admission test today at Education Department were categorically not allowed to sit for exam today as they could not show the concerned department officials their final mark sheets for verification. According to central university protocol and rules and regulations, there is no provision for showing the final mark sheets during the time of admission test. Only after the applying candidates have cleared the test and have been selected, do they normally have to show their final mark sheets for verification. However, today these 56 students were not allowed to sit for test on the premise that the Education Department had on their prospectus as well as their admission forms clearly mentioned that final mark sheets are to to obtained prior to admission, but nowhere has it been mentioned that final mark sheets are to be shown on the DAY OF ADMISSION TEST.
|North Bengal University|
As of now, the aspiration and faith of these students remain in a limbo. If only one could have foreseen the unintended cost of last years election on the careers of our students, one would have been able to do all the needful lot avoid these kind of situation for the students. We have only a few days ago highlighted how the delayed results by NBU have cost some bright young minds their deserving seat in Sikkim University. Similar trend is being shown at Visa Bharati.
Sikkim Central University has given admission to second and third best choice of students this year, as they have denied the best students admission on the grounds that they don’t have their final year mark sheets.
Whether this is so by design or by default, we will let all of you decide...
Here are the facts.
Following the admission test, majority of the merit list candidates featured top ranking students from Darjeeling, but sadly they were denied admission, as their final year mark sheets were not available at the time of admission.
Having received numerous complaints, we decided to dig in and this is what we found
Explaining the situation, Sikkim University officials stated that “it is clearly mentioned in our Prospectus, if students are unable to produce their final mark sheets will not be given admission.” Given that this year, there was an election in West Bengal, unfortunately of which Darjeeling region is still a part, the final year graduation examinations got postponed by a month, so when Sikkim University demanded mark sheets by June 30th, 2016 all the students from Gorkhaland Territorial Administration who are forced to study under NBU, were unable to produce the same.
Traditionally, since the formation of Sikkim University, they allowed students to submit their mark sheets by the end of October, “but that system created a lot of problem... many students didn’t submit their mark sheets in October and pleaded with us to give them extensions, which we did, given they were pleading” says Vice Chancellor TB Subba. He added, “many of these students did not clear their Bachelors for long, and some of them have both Bachelors and Masters degree issued in the same year... so we decided we cannot allow this to continue.”
What happened in the past, as far as we can tell, is that Sikkim University officials did not do their duty proper, and allowed those who did not produce their Mark Sheet past October of the given year to continue. However, they didn’t seem to have any compunction on the failure of the University to keep a check on students who did not produce their Mark Sheets in the past, and instead decided to punish those who would apply this year.
When we called the SU VC Mr. Subba and asked him about chances of giving the meritorious students provisional admission till their results were declared, he said, “we have made this law and we cannot change it mid-way... we cannot change the law to accommodate students from NBU... they have had to apply within the given dates.”
But that is where SU hypocrisy gets highlighted, despite the fact that they had set June 30th as the last date for the students to show their final mark sheets, they extended the deadline to July 5th . Why so? Because Sikkim University themselves did not publish many of the results till July 3rd.
So while Sikkim University conveniently allowed provision for their own students to apply past the original deadline, they prevented students who had appeared for final examinations through NBU, from seeking admission, showing their lack of mark sheets as an excuse.
A SU Professor who was part of the admission committee earlier said, “I am no more part of the admissions committee, so I was unaware of the decisions they had taken, we had earlier allowed till Oct 30th for students to submit their mark sheets, which the new committee removed without informing anyone, including the faculty... it is about fairness, how can they arbitrarily extend dates to accommodate SU students, while leaving the students from NBU to suffer? This is not only unfair, but also reeks of a systematic provision to deny students from Darjeeling admissions here at SU.”
When we asked SU VC Mr. TB Subba on why provisional admission was not granted, he said, “a law professor drew our attention to that fact it would be illegal to give admission to students who haven’t finished their Bachelors exam to continue onto their Masters.”
So we decided to dig in and this is what we found.
All the ICSE schools in Darjeeling allow for Sikkim students to gain admission after their class 10 exams are over, and months before their results are declared it is not deemed illegal. Numerous Universities across India, including Premier - Indian Institute of Management's allow for students to join their courses while their results are being declared.
We are not sure why Sikkim University decided to prevent students from Darjeeling to join, however what happened is grossly unfair and we hope that the SU authorities allow for admission of meritorious students from across India provisonally, if necessary, instead of selectively preventing Darjeeling students to join in, due to arbitrary rules that specifically deny admission to our students.