Common entrance exam at UG level will help EWS students

The education ministry is mulling over the decision to conduct a common entrance test for admission in undergraduate (UG) courses across all 54 central universities. A seven-member committee headed by RP Tiwari, VC of Central University of Punjab, will submit its report within a month and the move may get implemented for 2021-22.

“There is a lack of uniformity in the UG admission process as some universities conduct entrance test while few rely on merit-based admissions. This will simplify the admission process while customising the exam pattern.”

“Students diversity is poor across universities; the central admission process may allow students from all walks of life to enrol in desired varsities and courses,” Tiwari told
Education Times.

The committee is expected to meet on January 9, 2021, to finalise the report before submitting it. Given the academic disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there is uncertainty regarding the schedule of various entrance exams and many states have also rescheduled the board exams for May-June 2021.

Rama Shanker Dubey, vice chancellor of the Central University of Gujarat, says, “Some of the most sought-after universities conduct their entrance tests and it becomes difficult for students from economically weaker sections (EWS) to keep a tab, apply and appear for all the exams. Appearing for different exams also means that one has to pay the application fee for multiple tests. Common entrance test may also help in getting the academic cycle back on track in lesser time,” Dubey says.

“We have multiple state boards across the country and relative marking with respect to these boards can be a problem. But, the move also has a positive side where students will get through the UG admissions in just one test. The ministry will have to consider diverse factors before implementing it,” says Rajib Ray, professor, Kirori Mal College, Delhi University and president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA).

RK Kohli, senior academician and former VC of Central University of Punjab, says that conducting a common exam is always a good idea as it has been in practice for postgraduate (PG) admissions for several years, but it can also cause a divide between the old and new universities.

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