Central universities will give equal weightage to the scores of the proposed common entrance test and the board exam marks while admitting students from this academic year if the government accepts the recommendations of an expert committee.
The panel of academics headed by Central University of Punjab vice-chancellor R.P. Tiwari and set up by the University Grants Commission (UGC) has recommended a Central University Common Entrance Test (CUCET) for the selection of students to undergraduate and postgraduate courses from the 2021-22 academic session. The National Testing Agency (NTA) will be given the responsibility of holding the exam.
The entrance test will assess the general aptitude of the students and domain knowledge for the course they want to pursue. The university should give 50 per cent weightage to the CUCET and another 50 per cent to the board exam score, the committee has proposed. The NTA will normalise the board marks to bring parity among boards.
As per the proposal, there will be a single application form for all central universities, which will save time and expenses.
The committee has also suggested that the PhD courses in the central universities admit students through the National Eligibility Test (NET), which is conducted to select candidates for the posts of assistant professors and junior research fellows.
The NTA conducts the NET twice a year on behalf of the UGC.
The panel, which the UGC set up under instructions from the education ministry, will forward its proposals to the education ministry for the final decision, two officials told this newspaper.
The National Education Policy has suggested a common entrance test for admission to universities.
Currently, the central universities have different admission policies. Some of the new central universities conduct a common entrance test for admission to their master’s courses.
Leading institutions such as Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) and Delhi University take in students through their own entrance tests conducted by the NTA.
For undergraduate courses, DU gives more weightage to board marks. For PhD courses, each university holds its own entrance test.
“The report has been received by the UGC. It will be sent to the education ministry for the final decision,” one of the two officials said.
The members of the committee include the vice-chancellors of the Central University of Punjab, Mizoram University, Central University of South Bihar, Delhi University and Banaras Hindu University and the director-general of the NTA.
Higher education secretary Amit Khare has said during several webinars that the common admission tests will be implemented from the 2021-22 academic year.