By Linus Garg
First publised on 2021-12-04 08:08:12
The Universities Grants Commission (UGC) proposes to have all Central universities conduct a common university entrance test (CUET). The test will be for admission to under-graduate courses and will be organized by the National Testing Agency (NTA). If everything goes according to plan, all colleges under Central universities will admit students based on CUET results from the academic session starting in 2022-23.
So is this proposal good? The present system of all colleges setting different cut-offs for different boards for the various under-graduate streams is discriminatory and puts students from backward areas and from boards that are strict in their marking at a disadvantage. But since the admission is on the basis of the results students obtain in their Class XII boards, it puts a premium on school education which the students have been undergoing for the last 12 to 14 years. If CUET replaces that, it will disincentivize board examinations. Hence, even if CUET is adopted, a certain weightage must be given to marks obtained in Class XII boards in declaring the CUET score.
Further, CUET will also give a fillip to the well-entrenched coaching industry as it is no secret that, rightly or wrongly, students make a beeline to these coaching institutes to acquire the 'skill' necessary to crack entrance tests. Here again, students from economically-weaker sections of society and those from backward areas will be put at a disadvantage.
Setting a common standard for admissions to âgoodâ colleges for under-graduate courses has always been a problem area. If Class XII marks are ignored, it puts good performers and high scorers at a disadvantage as well as makes the board exams meaningless. If only board results are taken into account, students of certain boards that are liberal in their marking score over others. In that respect, CUET can be e leveler, but some weightage must also be given to Class XII board exams.
Pic courtesy: indianexpress.com