December 3, 2021 - 11:30 am

Roll Out Common Entrance From 2022-23 

 In a big move by the central government from the academic session 2022-23, a common entrance test is likely to be implemented across central universities in India for admissions to undergraduate and postgraduate courses, making a departure from the current predominant pattern of screening based on class 12 marks. The test will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

                                The latest push came on November 26, when University Grant commission (UGC) brought to the vice-chancellors of all 45 central universities. The UGC has, however, not announced the modalities of the proposed test which sources said, is likely to evaluate students based on two segments - an aptitude test and a subject-specific paper. According to the UGC, the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will cover students looking for admissions in sciences, humanities, languages, arts as well as vocational subjects in higher education institutions. For admissions to PhD, NET score will be used "whenever feasible".

                                While the concept of a common entrance test finds mention in the New Education Policy (NEP), it is not entirely new. The CUCET was launched in 2010, seven new established Central universities subscribed to it. In 2012, the government tried to extend this to all central universities under the Education Ministry, but the proposal didn't take off when the some established Universities expressing concerns over the impact it would have on the quality of students admitted. Over the years, more newly set-up Central universities adopted the common entrance party but the older ones stayed away. The UGC's circular to vice chancellor now refers to the proposed entrance test as CUET, not CUCET.

                               The push for a common entrance test comes at a time when unrealistic cut-offs for admissions to premier institutions like Delhi University have underlined the need for alternatives while the UGC hopes it will create a level playing field, critics fear it will encourage the coaching industry further. Professors of some of the top universities believe that the proposal to have a common entrance test is an affront to the autonomy of Universities.