New Delhi: The Modi government is looking at conducting a centralised common entrance test for admission to various universities in the July-August period from this academic session (2021-22) onwards, ThePrint has learnt.
The test, which has been advocated under the new National Education Policy and is one of the key schemes that the Ministry of Education is pursuing actively, will be a single entrance test like the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) and the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), for admission to non-technical programmes at the undergraduate level.
The scores in the test will be for all central universities in the country like Delhi University, Aligarh Muslim University, Jawaharlal Nehru University among others.
ThePrint had reported that the MoE was set to launch the common entrance test for universities, along with nine other schemes mentioned in the NEP 2020, in the month of May.
The common entrance test, however, was stuck in a limbo because of the raging second Covid-19 wave in the country.
With the cancellation of CBSE Class 12 exams last month and the decreasing Covid-19 caseload across cities in the country, the ministry is “positively considering” conducting the exams in the next two months, sources told ThePrint.
ThePrint reached the education ministry spokesperson for an official comment on the issue via email but there was no response till the time of publishing this report.
“There is a suggestion that students whose Class 12 exams have been cancelled should be allotted grades instead of marks, hence it is imperative that university admissions also happen differently,” said a ministry official.
“The ministry is considering conducting common entrance tests for students across the country in the July-August period.”
Sources also said that if students are awarded grades instead of marks, admission to universities will be based entirely on the entrance test scores, instead of giving some weightage to Class 12 marks and rest to entrance exam scores.
“The proposal for conducting common entrance exams for all universities was put on hold due to the pandemic but it will be discussed again with the universities,” another ministry official said.
Most universities on board
The universities were asked their opinion earlier in the year and many of them had submitted their plans.
Delhi University, which admits the most number of students — 60,000 undergraduate students each year — had agreed to go with the common entrance test. Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), which has very selective programmes at the undergraduate level, had also agreed to join the common test.
The test, whenever the government decides to go ahead with it, will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), the agency tasked with conducting medical and engineering entrance exams.
A committee formed to look into the details of organising the test had recommended that it should have two sections — A Part A that is aptitude based, which tests logical reasoning, reading comprehension and verbal skills among others and a Part B that will have subject-specific questions.
(Edited by Arun Prashanth)