Published: 10th July 2018
4 Jadavpur Uni students hospitalised, 20 continue hunger strike to protest scrapping of admission test
The University has already called for an emergency meeting to discuss the situation and find a solution but the students are refusing to give up on the fast
Twenty students have been on a hunger strike for over 8 hours in protests against the withdrawal of admission tests in Jadavpur University. Over the last week, almost all the students on campus including several faculty members have been vehemently opposing the decision to withdraw admission tests and select students solely based on their 12th standard marks.
Four of those students are hospitalised with one of them being in a serious condition but the students are nowhere close to concluding their fast till the meeting is conducted and a resolution is passed in their favour. "This is our last resort. We think that this is the best way to get our demand met," said Dwaitayan Chaudary, a student on fast. "Many of the student who would apply to JU might not come from privileged backgrounds and may not always do well in their exams which was why we needed the admission test. The test is a level playing field for all because it checks the student's critical and analytical thinkiwhereas as in our board exams we mostly just mug up answers and vomit it out on our paper," he added.
The good fight: One of the students who has been hospitalised after their health deteriorated during the protest
"In the board exams even if one question is out of syllabus, there is such an uproar. For the admission test, there is no set syllabus, you have to prove that you understand a concept because you need to have critical thinking capacity to pass the exam," he explained.
However, the protesting students and faculty are not just from the departments that originally conducted admission tests, "We have students from other departments like science and engineering also protesting with us. This is not just about the test it is about the government interfering with how the campus works. We are fighting for autonomy," said Subhodeep Ghosh, another student on fast. "It's the same thing that is happening in all the other universities too, students rights are being taken away - there is no room for dissent or debate anymore," he added.
In wait: The students are waiting for the decision of the authorities but are in nowhere close to giving up the strike
So far the no student is at any serious health risk but they say that there their health is getting slowly affected, "Many of our blood pressure is very low but we're not going to stop unless we get a positive answer. Many authorities have come and spoke to us and are asking us to call off the strike because discussions are going on but we're not taking that risk," Chaudhary said.
A number of alumni are also taking to social media and are even on campus helping protesting against the move. With the hashtag #handsofJU many students are talking about how they would have never had a chance to study at JU if they had been selected on the basis of their school marks instead of the admission tests. Rittika Dasgupta in an FB post said, "I think admission tests are the most uncorrupt and fair way to enroll students for their BA and MA degrees. I did disastrously in my +2 exams and did not even have my name on the Ashutosh and Scottish Church lists, but I made it to the merit list for JU and Presidency two of the best universities in the country because of it. I chose JU and it changed my life forever."