New Delhi: Common entrance tests for admissions across Indian universities are likely to begin in 2021, ThePrint has learnt.
The entrance tests, mentioned in the new National Education Policy (NEP), are meant to simplify the admission process to undergraduate colleges in non-technical courses. There will be different tests for various courses.
The National Testing Agency (NTA), which conducts the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) for engineering, the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for medical courses and other entrance exams, will be responsible for conducting the common university tests too.
Currently, different universities have their own admission process — some make students write an entrance test, while others, like Delhi University, offer admission on the basis of the marks scored in class 12.
A senior official in the NTA confirmed the development to ThePrint. “The common entrance tests have to happen, most likely from next year. But the finer details of the exam are yet to be planned. We will have a discussion with the education ministry to decide on this,” the official said.
The official explained that the plan is to conduct a common aptitude test across subjects as well as specialised tests for the sciences, humanities, languages, arts and vocational courses, but which one will be rolled out by the agency first is yet to be decided.
According to sources in the NTA, central universities like Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University and Hyderabad Central University will be the first ones to come under the ambit of the common entrance test, and others will join in later.
Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ had also tweeted about the plan earlier this week.
University entrance exams will be revamped under #NEP2020. @DG_NTA will work towards offering a high-quality common aptitude test, as well as specialised common subject exams in Science, Humanities, Languages, Arts, & Vocational Subjects, at least twice every year. #ShikshakParv pic.twitter.com/YYRCDrxGVG
— Dr. Ramesh Pokhriyal Nishank (@DrRPNishank) September 21, 2020
What the NEP says
Common university tests are mentioned in the NEP document in detail.
“These exams shall test conceptual understanding and the ability to apply knowledge and shall aim to eliminate the need for taking coaching for these exams. Students will be able to choose the subjects for taking the test, and each university will be able to see each student’s individual subject portfolio and admit students into their programmes based on individual interests and talents,” the policy states.
“The high quality, range, and flexibility of the NTA testing services will enable most universities to use these common entrance exams — rather than having hundreds of universities each devising their own entrance exams — thereby drastically reducing the burden on students, universities and colleges, and the entire education system. It will be left up to individual universities and colleges to use NTA assessments for their admissions,” it adds.
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