The University Grant Commission (UGC) had recently written to vice chancellors of over 900 universities in the country to “encourage” students to take the Centre’s “indigenous cow science” examination called the “Kamdhenu Gau Vigyan Prachar Prasar” exam.
The exam, which was scheduled for 25 February, has now been postponed, however, not before reports surfaced that Kolkata's Jadavpur University (JU) had “rejected” the examination. But did JU, a West Bengal government-funded institution, actually make such an official move? Let’s take a look.
Did Jadavpur University Officially 'Reject' the Exam?
Multiple reports quoted from a post on Facebook as an “official” statement from JU.
However, the Facebook page, called “Jadavpur University”, states in its bio that it is an “unofficial page”.
On 22 February, the page put up a post that read, “Jadavpur University has straight off rejected the proposal of conducting a ‘Cow Science' examination as given by the UGC recently. The University authority and teachers are of the view that the University has always upheld a Scientific form of education since it’s inception. Holding this examination will be a compromise with it’s eternal philosophy.”
It then goes on to add that the government should have conducted research in scientific disciplines but “the current exam tries to push a particular unscientific philosophy on the current generation of students”.
However, professors at the university and students had publicly criticised the exam earlier.
“Central government is not giving 60 crores to Jadavpur University for research. What it is trying to do is inject specific ideology into the students”, said JU professor Partha Roy to NDTV.
“I fear there is a fairly well thought out plan behind this. You are trying to legitimise untruths. I am not even calling them post truths”, another professor, Samanta Das, said to the channel.
Similar statements were made by professors to other news outlets also, like Anandabzar Patrika.
What Is Jadavpur University's Official Position?
Sources in Jadavpur University told The Quint that the university never had the mandate to conduct the exam. The universities were simply asked by the UGC to encourage students to take the exam.
Whether students want to take the exam or not, is a personal choice, not regulated by the college, they said.
“No such decision has been taken by the University. A decision, if any, will be taken the West Bengal Higher Education Department, under the state government. They will then communicate the same to all universities, including JU, and we will act accordingly”, said a senior official at the University, on condition of anonymity.
On being questioned about the Facebook post, the official added, “JU does not have any official Facebook page.”
The Quint also reached out to JU Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das, who reiterated that the social media post was not linked to the university, and they “had not put out any official statement on the exam.”
Several news websites such as The Bengal Story, Millennium Post and The Cognate, picked up the post on Jadavpur University’s unofficial Facebook page and misreported that the University had “rejected” the ‘Cow Science’ exam, despite no official announcement.
(With inputs from NDTV and Anandabazar Patrika.)