CALCUTTA : Jadavpur University should not
have implemented the domicile quota in engineering
courses and shut the door on brilliant students from
outside Bengal, said Anil Sahasrabudhe, the Chairman
of the All India Council of Technical Education
(AICTE) said here on July 22.
Talking to The Telegraph Sahasrabudhe hoped
that the university would wake up to the pitfalls of
the new system and scrap the quota because with the
quota in effect 90 per cent of the B.Tech seats in
the general category across all departments would be
reserved for students domiciled in Bengal.
Sahasrabudhe pointed out that the institutes in the
US flourished because they welcomed students from
all over the globe. He said now the
university must decide whether they want more
vibrant students or they want to be very
Speaking to the newspaper correspondent he said that
"this is not a progressive step," and added
that "when you open up and expand, the quality
improves. At the IITs, students come from all over
India. That is how they get better students. You go
to the US, there institutes enrol students from as
many as 145 countries. They are still better. JU
should understand this logic. Their standards will
decline and they will lose out on bright students if
they become closed-door," he added.
Jadavpur University officials said it was too early
to predict whether the domicile policy would lead to
a decline in standards. "The domicile policy was
introduced this year and it will take at least a
couple of years to find out whether the impact is
adverse," said Chiranjib Bhattacharya, the dean of
the engineering faculty at JU.
The university decided to introduce the domicile
quota following protests from teachers over the rise
in the number of students from outside Bengal being
admitted to the engineering courses.
The executive council, the highest decision-making
body of the university, had in March proposed that
90 per cent of the engineering seats in the general
category be reserved for domiciled students. The
Mamata Banerjee government approved the proposal on
the ground that students from Bengal should get
priority in a state-funded institution.
According to the rules of the state joint entrance
examination board, only those candidates are treated
as domicile of Bengal who are residing in West
Bengal continuously for at least for 10 years as on
31.12.2018; or whose parent(s) is/are permanent
resident(s) of West Bengal having permanent
addresses within the State of West Bengal.
Sahasrabudhe, while expressing the apprehension
about a fall in the standards following the
implementation of the domicile quota, was echoing
what JU vice-chancellor Suranjan Das had said in
Das had spoken out against any such quota saying a
university aspiring to the tag of "Institute of
Eminence" should not shut its door on deserving
candidates from outside Bengal in the name of
JU is number seven on a shortlist of "eight public
institutions" drawn up by an "empowered committee"
of the University Grants Commission for the tag. The
commission had picked up three universities in July
last year and said the rest would be considered
If and when JU makes the cut, it will receive a
grant of Rs 1,000 crore over five years.
Das had said the introduction of the domicile quota
would erode the institute's regional diversity, one
of the rating parameters followed by the Human
Resource Development Ministry. Regional diversity is
indicative of a university's outreach and
inclusiveness and is ascertained with the help of
percentage of students from other states pursing a
course in that institute.
"The VC feared introduction of the policy could
antagonise the UGC and the ministry and would stand
in the way of the university making the cut for the
tag," a teacher at JU said.
Suranjan Das gets 2
years more at Jadavpurr
CALCUTTA: Dr Suranjan Das, the
Vice-Chancellor of Jadavpur University here got a
term extension of two years dashing the hope of many
contenders who had been lobbying for the coveted
post. On June 20 the Governor-Chancellor Keshari Nath Tripathi
extended his tenure "for a period of two years or till
he turns 70 years", a university official said.
Dr Suranjan's four-year term ended on June 23 but as the
Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee had, on January 7, raised
the retirement age of VCs from 65 to 70 years Dr Das
turned out to be the first beneficiary of the scheme.
Dr Das, a known historian and essentially a quiet man
had to face a tough students unrest some months ago when
the angry students all but molested the VC and the
From February 19 to March 19
this year, Das and pro-VC Pradip Ghosh were confined
five times. During the gherao on February 19, Das had
fallen ill after being allegedly assaulted by students
and had to be stretchered out of the campus. He was
hospitalised for a couple of days.
Speaking to reporters a day after his reappointment he said that
he respected the students' "right to protest, right to
voice demands, but while exercising their democratic
rights, the students should not infringe on the
democratic rights of others".
Asked about his focus areas in his second innings at the
helm of the university he stressed the need to improve the profile
of the students. "If you do not improve the profile of
the students, the profile of the university does not get
enhanced," he said.
When asked why he accepted the offer of helming the
campus that has given him so much trouble in the form of
gherao, Das said: "I was mentally prepared to leave.
That was how I charted my future. Once an order comes
from the chancellor, it is difficult to say no. It is
true that I have been gheroed a number of times. But… I
also received support from a large section of students
Das said he would take steps so that the university's
position improves in the national institutional ranking
"But I would say that ranking can't be the sole
parameter of an institute's excellence. The race for
ranking can lead to homogenisation of the
teaching-learning process," he added.
IIEST, Shibpur wants to go the IISER way
From Our Correspondent
CALCUTTA : The Indian Institute of Engineering
Science and Technology (IIEST), Shibpur, which had decided
to admit students from the JEE (Advanced) pool from
this year is still awaiting approval by the
Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD).
IIEST director Ajoy Kumar Ray
had told reporters on June
8 2017 that the institute’s executive council had at a
meeting decided to pick students from the
JEE (Advanced) pool. The decision, he said, was
communicated to the MHRD for approval.
The institute has been upgraded from a state
engineering university called Bengal Engineering &
Science University and used to admit students from
West Bengal state level joint entrance examination
called Bengal JEE. After its conversion to Indian
Institute of Engineering Science and Technology (IIEST)
its vice-chancellor Ajoy Kumar Ray, running a second
term, preferred to go in for JEE (Advanced).
“We want top-notch students for our dual-degree
programmes, which aim to build in them a strong
research base. Between the JEE Main and the JEE
Advanced, the council has settled for the JEE
Advanced to ensure we get the best,” Ray told
This year IIEST will admit students through the
state JEE, as was mentioned in the advertisement
published by the JEE board late last year, when the
Bengal Engineering & Science University was yet to
be upgraded to IIEST.
The 15 IITs and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad,
are among the institutes that admit students through
the JEE Advanced, which candidates who clear the JEE
Main are eligible to write. The National Institutes
of Technology (NITs) and a few other institutes take
students through the JEE Main.
Besides, institutes like the Rajiv Gandhi Institute
of Petroleum Technology, Rae Bareli, the Indian
Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs),
the Indian Institute of Space Science and Technology
Thiruvananthapuram and Indian Institute of Science,
Bangalore offer admission by using rank list of JEE-Advanced.
Calcutta, it may be recalled, already has an Indian
Institutes of Science Education and Research which
runs Bachelor of Science and Master of Science dual
degree programme and admits students from JEE
An executive council member said the MHRD had
suggested to the IIEST to explore the possibility of
admitting students through JEE Advanced from the
2014-15 session itself. “But we did not want to
tweak the criteria following the state JEE board’s
notification on our mode of admission,” said the
Roy explained what prompted them to opt for the JEE
Advanced ranks. “We are restructuring our programme
with an eye to preparing students for the industry.
Speaking to industry experts our course curriculum
is being drawn up. Only the bright students would be
able to cope with such programme,” said Roy.
JEE Main ranks are considered to get admissions in
engineering institutes like the NITs (National
Institutes of Technology).
Roy has also written to the MHRD to set aside fifty
percent of seats at the IIEST for “home (Bengal)
students” from 2015-16 academic session.
An IIEST official said the ministry had in a letter
to the then Left Front government in 2007 promised
to reserve 50 per cent seats for students from
Bengal. In the IIEST act, however, there is no
mention of such reservation.
“We have written to MHRD that 50 per cent seats be
set aside for the state students coming through JEE
Advanced exam from next year. Once the board of
governors-- the proposed decision making body at the
IIEST-- is constituted shortly, the proposal would
be resent,” added Roy.
The IIEST has also finalised its fee structure.
Registrar Biman Banerjee said a student would be
charged Rs 44,500 in the first semester and the fee
would come down to Rs 36,500 from the subsequent
“The first semester fee would comprise a tuition fee
(Rs 35,000), institute development fee (Rs 5,000
one-time), caution money (Rs 2,000 to be refunded on
completion of the dual-degree programme),
examination fee (Rs 1,000), admission fee (Rs 1,000
one-time) and student activities fee (Rs 500),” said
SC and ST students-- for whom altogether 22 percent
seats of the 488 berths would be reserved--won’t be
charged any tuition fee through out the semesters.