West Bengal Minister of Education Partha Chatterjee on Sunday said undergraduate (UG) classes would begin on November 2 after the admission process for first-year college students is completed by the end of October. Postgraduate (PG) classes would begin the following month, he added.
The decisions were taken in an online meeting the minister held with the vice-chancellors of state universities.
“It has been decided that the new academic year will begin in December. Till November there are several festivals. After Durga Puja in October, there is Kali Puja, Diwali, Bhai Dooj, Chhat Puja and Milad un-Nabi. So there is no point starting the academic year from November and then observe so many holidays on account of these festivals. Therefore, it is ideal to commence the new academic year from December,” Chatterjee told reporters.
The minister added, “However, classes for undergraduate courses will begin from November 2 and the same for postgraduate courses will commence from December. Classes will be held in online mode and respective universities and colleges will chalk out modalities.”
While admissions to UG courses will be over by October 31, the admission procedure in PG courses will be completed only by the end of November.
The education minister said his department would write to the University Grants Commission (UGC), asking it to allow the state to start the new academic year from December.
In a notice on September 22, the UGC said the admission process for UG first-year students would have to be completed by October 31, and classes should resume on November 1.
Meanwhile, sources said the universities decided to reserve 80 per cent of seats in PG courses for students who completed their graduation in an affiliated college, or in the institute itself. The decision was taken because of the Covid-19 pandemic, and curbs in transport. As a result, many graduates may find it difficult to pursue higher studies in institutions outside the state.