Govt thinking of a common entrance test for all central universities

Common Entrance Examination for all central universities, says HRD: Education News Several Delhi University colleges declare 100% marks as cutoff to study popular courses such as mathematics, economics, and history. Many students seeking admission miss out by a whisker despite having impressive marks — such as 95% in their Class 12 school exam.

The proposed admission procedure will put all students on an equal footing as everyone will be tested through a common examination. The Centre is likely to call a meeting of central university vice-chancellors on October 6 to discuss the common test.

“A number of issues have been brought to our notice, including the common entrance test. We will draw up the agenda of the meeting soon,” HRD minister Prakash Javadekar said.

Staff vacancy, which is around 35%, in the 40-odd central universities, and issues relating to students’ grievance redressal system are likely to be on the table.

Most central universities have individual entrance tests, while Delhi University follows a cutoff formula for admitting students to its undergraduate courses.

High cutoffs have triggered debates as some states are known to be lenient in giving marks, leaving students from other school boards in the lurch. Of 188 enrolments in Delhi University’s popular Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC) this admission season, 129 seats went to students from Tamil Nadu who came with top-grade mark-sheets. Eyebrows were raised as 33 of them were from a single school in the southern state.

Sources said around seven central universities — in Haryana, Jammu and Kashmir, Jharkhand, Kerala, Rajasthan and Tamil Nadu — admit some students on the basis on their performance in the Central Universities Common Entrance Test.

“There are complaints about students having an advantage in getting admission through the cutoff system because of lenient marking from state boards … a common test will also do away with students’ travel expenses, as they need not visit different places seeking admission,” a senior HRD official said.

The planned entrance test has its drawbacks too. “This will burden students with another examination after class 12. Any entrance exam is competitive and will spawn private coaching centres all around,” said Dinesh Singh, former vice-chancellor of Delhi University.

But, at the same time, students will be spared of the drudgery of applying in several universities individually for admission, and hopefully reduce the fierce competition for higher marks as cutoffs will no longer apply, he said.

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