New Delhi: Students anxious about college admissions for the 2020-21 session will have to wait for some more time to get clarity on the status of various entrance examinations that were postponed by universities and colleges in the wake of the Covid-19 lockdown.
This is because holding of a single entrance examination for all higher education institutions — an idea suggested to the University Grants Commission (UGC) by an expert committee to tide over the crisis — has been ruled out, ThePrint has learnt.
So now, all states and central institutions have been left on their own to decide the mechanism and the time of admissions.
“Single entrance exams are not possible this year because of the uncertainty of the situation and the difficulties that can arise out of it. The number of students is just too large for us to conduct a common test at this time,” a senior UGC official told ThePrint.
While the dates for engineering and medical entrance exams — Joint Entrance Exam and National Eligibility and Entrance Test — have been announced, none of the central or state universities that had to postpone their entrance exams in the wake of pandemic have declared new dates.
Central varsities waiting for govt order
Central universities, including Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and Banaras Hindu University (BHU), haven’t announced new dates so far.
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Officials in these institutions said they are waiting for a go-ahead from the Ministry of Home Affairs in this regard and for the lockdown to ease before deciding on a new date.
“We are waiting for the central government instructions before announcing a new date for entrance exams. We will inform the students about the same through our official website,” an official from the AMU told ThePrint.
Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), whose entrance test is conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), has also not announced new dates for exams. The exams were scheduled to be held between 11-14 May.
Delhi University (DU), which admits the largest number of students among all the central universities, also hasn’t announced new dates.
The varsity takes nearly 50,000 students each year at the undergraduate level through two ways — merit-based (cut-off) admission and admission through entrance tests. According to senior officials in the university, schedule for both are uncertain at this time.
“Our admission process can only begin after CBSE declares its result for Class 12, the date for which is not clear at the moment. Hence, we have not been able to decide on a date to commence admission process. However, we have already begun our preparations,” dean, admissions, Delhi University, Shobha Bagai told ThePrint.
She added the entire admission process will be online for the merit-based admissions.
Admission in certain professional courses at the undergraduate level and most courses at the postgraduate level in DU take place through an entrance test. “We have tied up with the NTA for the entrance tests and are waiting for a go-ahead from them to schedule our tests accordingly,” Bagai added.
Private universities, meanwhile, have already started their admission processes online.
Online admissions in private varsities
OP Jindal University in Sonepat, Haryana, one of the biggest private universities in the country, which has also been selected as an ‘institute of eminence’ by the central government, has shifted its entrance test online.
“We have transitioned to a fully online system to conduct the admission process for all undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. This will take place through an AI-Enabled home proctored examination held under the aegis of the Jindal Scholastic Aptitude Test (JSAT). The test will be administered by Pearson Virtual University Enterprises (VUE),” a statement from the university read.
While the entrance exams for law start from June 14, others are going on currently.
Pearl Academy, another private institution, has also shifted its entrance process online.
According to the institution, one of the admission cycles has already been completed through computerised general proficiency test (GPT) and photographically interfaced online Design Aptitude test (DAT), which had students writing their test while being monitored through a video call.
“Nearly 2,600 students were interviewed answering three questions using video technology. All students were trained to go through this process through webinars. Our next admission test begins on 6 June and the same process will be followed then as well,” president, Pearl Academy, Nandita Abraham told ThePrint.
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