On Friday, the chairperson of the University Grants Commission (UGC), M Jagadesh Kumar, stated that the government is looking into the prospect of including the national engineering and medical entrance examinations into the already established Common University Entrance Test (CUET). Kumar stated that the government was considering implementing the integrated entry test as soon as possible, preferably by the beginning of the next year.
"We have three significant entrance tests, that is NEET, JEE (Main), and CUET, and it is not uncommon for a big number of students to appear for these entrances. And the National Testing Agency is the one in charge of administering each and every one of these tests (NTA). According to what he said, "as a result, we are considering why we should not utilise CUET results alone for admission to a variety of fields."
This year saw the introduction of the Central Institutions Entrance Test (CUET) for undergraduate admissions to a total of 90 universities, 45 of which are central universities. According to the officials, 1.05 million students registered for the CUET, making it the second largest test in the world after the NEET, which garnered 1.8 million registrations.
According to Kumar, the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 also envisions "one nation, one entry," which would lessen the pressure placed on students to take several admission tests for higher education.
The Joint Entrance Examination (Main) is designed for admission to various engineering courses including NIITs, IIITs, and other centrally funded technical colleges and shortlist students who can appear for the JEE-Advanced exam for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology. While the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) is administered for admission to medical courses including MBBS and BDS, the Joint Entrance Examination (Main) is designed for admission to medical courses including MBBS and BDS (IITs).
"NEET needs students to have knowledge of biology, physics, and chemistry, whereas JEE requires them to have knowledge of mathematics, physics, and chemistry. CUET already covers each of these topics in full. According to the chairwoman of the UGC, using CUET results as a factor in admissions decisions won't provide any difficulties for schools of medicine and engineering.
Kumar shared that the United Graduate College (UGC) and the Union Ministry of Education have initiated conversations to begin preparing the stakeholders. He stated that they did not want to make any unexpected announcements so close to the time of the examinations. "We don't want to reveal anything in a startling manner," he remarked.
The UGC will be forming a committee consisting of specialists from a variety of sectors in order to investigate the many existing types of admission examinations. "The committee will be working on the preparation of suggestions for an integrated admission test. After that, these proposals will be sent to the relevant parties for the purposes of consultation and feedback, and the ministry and the UGC will select the exam's modalities on the basis of that information. "A significant amount of preparation is required," stated Kumar.
In order to provide students additional possibilities, the test can be given twice a year instead of only once. "We may do the first session immediately after the end of the board examinations, and further sessions can be performed in November or December," he added. "We may also conduct subsequent sessions in the months of November and December."
When questioned about the technological problems that have been reported during the ongoing CUET tests for undergraduate admissions, Kumar responded by saying that the NTA is working hard to address all of the difficulties.
"We are also debating whether or not the NTA can come up with its own admission test centres in educational institutions around the country that are capable of accommodating more than 300 to 400 students at the same time. "Educational institutions are welcome to make use of these centres during the remaining months of the year," he explained.
Kumar stated, "The question papers of all these entrance exams are strictly based on NCERT syllabus and are in multiple-choice format. There is not a significant difference between the evaluation process of NEET, JEE, and CUET." Kumar was emphasising that there is not a significant difference between the evaluation process of NEET, JEE, and CUET. The NTA chooses the subject matter specialists that will prepare these question papers using the same criteria. The only area where there will be a distinction is in the case of NEET, which will continue to use OMR forms rather than computer-based ones. Consequently, the implementation of an uniform admission examination will be beneficial, not only from a logistical standpoint, but also from the perspective of the students.
NTA will start preparing for the integrated test after a committee has been constituted, and the group has submitted its suggestions, according to a senior NTA official.