The higher education department has asked the college service commission to conduct a common entrance test to admit students to postgraduate courses from the 2013 session.
This system would replace the practice of a university reserving a certain percentage of seats at the master’s level for its undergraduate students.
The department has asked the state higher education council to liaise with the commission to work out the modalities for holding the test, a senior official told Metro.
Council chairman Sugata Marjit, it was learnt, had a discussion with commission chairman Siddhartha Majumdar a fortnight ago to evolve a mechanism for conducting the test. The vice-chancellors of several universities were present.
On the commission’s recommendations, the department in early July had asked the universities to slash the quota for “home students” at the master’s level from 95 per cent to 60 per cent this year and prepare to admit students based on an entrance test from next year.
“We have assigned the responsibility of conducting the test to the commission,” the official said. “Since the council mooted the idea of the test, we have asked its chairman to work with the commission to finalise the details. The commission’s act has to be amended to enable it to hold the test.”
So far, the commission has conducted the state eligibility test (SET) to select college teachers.
“The commission should not have any problem in acting as the nodal agency of the test, once necessary changes are made in the act,” Marjit said.
Higher education department officials said the commission had been chosen for the job because it had the necessary expertise.
“For conducting SET, the commission is required to deal extensively with postgraduate syllabus and teachers experienced in the master’s-level syllabus. The entrance test would also revolve around the postgraduate syllabus, giving the commission an advantage,” the official said.
“We will be able to conduct the test if the act is suitably modified and the government provides us with infrastructure. We would have to hold several rounds of discussions with the council and the department to work out a detailed plan,” the commission chairman told Metro.