Trouble is brewing at Jadavpur University in Kolkata once again. This time the trouble is over how to admit students to the arts departments in one of India's best universities.
On Tuesday, the admission committee, headed by Vice Chancellor Suranjan Das, met on the issue. But the meeting ended without consensus. So an emergency Executive Committee meeting has been scheduled for today.
A showdown could be on the cards.
And its huge inconvenience for aspiring students. The English department had to put off entrance exams scheduled for today. At least two applicants were from outside Kolkata. One from Vietnam and another from Rajasthan. They are now stranded till the admission system is finalised.
There is no quarrel about admissions to engineering courses. That happens via the Joint Entrance Exams. Science course aspirants are admitted on the basis of higher secondary marks.
In the arts faculty, nine key departments have in the past taken independent decisions on how to take students. Some take entrance exams, others on the basis of Class 12 marks. Some others consider a mix of entrance tests and class 12 marks.
Last week, the Executive Committee of the university announced that a uniform system should be adopted for admission. Something arts faculty teachers claim the education minister Partha Chatterjee had been pushing for the last three years.
While uniformity has been reluctantly accepted by most of the arts faculty, the proposal on Tuesday left teachers shocked.
The vice chancellor asked if heads of departments thought internal teachers should be involved in the admission process or not.
This triggered an outrage among a large section of the arts faculty. "It is a humiliation," said one professor. "We have kept standards high at the university and now they say we are not fit to check papers?"
Most students have sided with the angry arts faculty. They suspect government interference and an attempt by the ruling Trinamool Congress to make a backdoor entry into the campus where it has a very thin presence.
The education minister, however, denies any such design. "We have no say in the matter. The university has to decide what to do," said Mr Partha Chatterjee. But he did add a rider which is a giveaway. "We are for a uniform system. Why merit list for science and entrance exams for arts students?" he said.
What happens if the executive committee insists Jadavpur University professors can't be involved in the admission process? "We are exploring options, including court," an arts faculty teacher said.