Engineering Entrance AP, TN reject exam reform proposals

HYDERABAD : With the launch of an online poll for replacing IIT-JEE, AIEEE, Eamcet, Comed-K and scores of other engineering entrance examinations with a single ‘National Test Scheme’ (NTS), the choice is in your hands.

In a first-of-its-kind initiative, the Union ministry of human resource development has launched a “national opinion poll” to elicit responses from students, parents, teachers and other stakeholders regarding replacing national and state-level engineering exams with the NTS.

One needs to log on to the website of the Department of Higher Education, http://www.education.nic.in, and post one’s opinion online before June 21.

The department has also decided to utilise social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter to popularise the online poll.

The UMHRD had appointed the T. Ramasami Committee and the secretary of Department of Science and Technology to prepare a document for public consultation on NTS for admissions into engineering courses.

The Committee had suggested replacing multiple engineering entrance exams with the NTS as it would save students from appearing in many exams, thus leading to unnecessary stress, apart from being a financial burden on parents.

The UMHRD has already mooted several proposals like introducing a national common syllabus for science and commerce streams at the 10+2 level, abolition of state exam boards at Class X and XII levels along with the NTS for admissions to graduate courses in engineering, medical, science and commerce streams.

Though the UMHRD had initiated these reforms two years ago, there was no approval from big states like AP and Tamil Nadu.

An online poll has been launched to opt for various entrances for engineering courses like IIT, AIEEE, Eamcet and other exams, or a common `National Test Scheme'.

One can give his or her opinion on all these proposals as part of the national opinion poll. Several states, including Andhra Pradesh, have been opposing proposals like a single entrance exam and single board exam at the national-level, and though the UMHRD had initiated these reforms two years ago, it had failed to achieve consensus in the absence of approval from big states like AP and Tamil Nadu.

The UMHRD believes that the opinion poll will enable it to know the “public pulse“ regarding reforms. There have been allegations that the strong corporate college lobby in the state has been pressurising the government against any reforms at the 10+2 level since it will result in losing the latter’s hold on the entrance exam market estimated to be worth at least `2,500 crore per annum.

The UMHRD believes that with the support of the general public for its reforms through the poll, it would make it easier to push the NTS through and convince the state of these reforms.
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