Common entrance test in undergraduate courses may begin in 2021

Taking admissions to undergraduate colleges for the non-technical courses can be streamlined by common entrance tests. National Testing Agency (NTA) that already conducts JEE & NEET will be responsible for holding these tests.

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The Print has reported that common entrance tests can begin for taking admission across Indian universities in the undergraduate courses. These common tests, mentioned in the National Education Policy (NEP) aim at simplifying the admission process so that students of different boards do not struggle with variation in cutoffs. The National Testing Agency (NTA), responsible for conducting the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET), will be responsible for conducting these exams across the country.

Currently, different universities have different processes to take admissions in undergraduate courses. Some universities prefer to take entrance tests while some like the Delhi University or the Calcutta University, only consider the marks scored in class 12. As the state boards, CBSE and ISC have different grading patterns; separate cutoffs are set for each board so that there is the fairness of selection. Still, the process is not entirely foolproof. A senior official in the NTA said to The Print, “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 proposed structure

In the new structure, the plan is to conduct common aptitude tests for all subjects along with dedicated tests for humanities, sciences, arts, languages, vocational courses, but the agency has not yet decided which one will be conducted first. The central universities will be the first to adopt this change, like the Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University, and the University of Hyderabad.

Education Minister Ramesh Pokhriyal ‘Nishank’ also tweeted on the provision of NEP, “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”

Mentions in the NEP

The proposal for NEP discusses the provisions for common entrance tests in detail. The policy says, “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.” It further adds, “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.”

What does the Policy Times suggest?

  • While a common entrance test sounds to be more inclusive than the current method, it needs a detailed plan of action for the convenience of the students.
  • There is no mention of the weightage of class 12 marks in the undergraduate admission process.
  • If the undergraduate courses solely depend on the entrance exams, the gravity of board examinations may be compromised.
  • The students should prepare for their exams with equal dedication, without worrying about new alterations as nothing should hamper their preparation stage.
Summary
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Common entrance test in undergraduate courses may begin in 2021
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Taking admissions to undergraduate colleges for the non-technical courses can be streamlined by common entrance tests. National Testing Agency (NTA) that already conducts JEE & NEET will be responsible for holding these tests.
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THE POLICY TIMES
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