The Education Ministry has launched CUET, which will be administered by NTA as a common entrance test for undergraduate (UG) admissions to India's central universities and many other institutions, in an effort to standardize the admissions procedure. The National Testing Agency (NTA), which was founded in 2017, administers the multiple-choice, computer-based exam. The competition is intense as huge number of applicants will participate to get admittance into India's 100+ institutions as well as 45 central institutes.
It is a significant divergence from the old practice of selecting students for admission based on their performance in the class 12 board exams. Since the CUET was introduced, every student has a fair opportunity to take this common entrance test and apply for admission to the top universities. Some experts worry that the weight and significance of the 12th standard would be lost with the introduction of the single admission exam. That is probably not the case as the CUET syllabus is entirely based on the class 12th curriculum. Both the syllabus for the 12th standard and the equity in the admissions procedure will be balanced in this manner.
“The country's higher education system is being reformed through CUET. After the introduction of CUET, it is envisaged that the entire test procedure would be transparent and students will learn about their ranks and the appropriate university merit list. They will be able to focus on being accepted to the desired institution since they will have a clear grasp of their preferences”, opines Pranav Gupta Ashoka University’s Co-Founder.
CUET is likely to provide its own unique rush, but the widely favored high cut-off procedure used by a few universities will come to an end. Now, a single common entrance exam will be administered to all institutions, and admissions will be determined based on both the CUET scores and the weighted average from the 12th grade. The multiple entrance tests that universities conduct can be discontinued as most institutions plan to participate in CUET. The focus of CUET is to aid in setting students' aspirations as priorities and guarantee that they have access to a fair college admissions procedure.
“With the uniform entrance test for all institutions, ever-rising cut-offs, as witnessed in many central universities, will come to a stop and students' critical thinking skills will be emphasized above rote learning. There is always some type of discrimination based on a student's 12th grade scores since various boards do not issue marks consistently, which denies equal opportunity to applicants to study in esteemed universities. I believe CUET will treat applicants from various boards equally and give them fair chance to pursue higher education in their preferred college”, says Pranav Gupta.
The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is a noteworthy decision in many aspects. It may be possible to streamline the admissions process while at the same time easing the financial burden by eliminating the conduct of several entrance examinations. The fact that many colleges lack appropriate financing, resources, and student enrolment is also crucial, and CUET could be advantageous for these universities.
There are conflicting emotions and detailed opinions about the initiative's shortcomings and implementations based on ground realities, the rural-urban divide, the lack of necessary infrastructure, the impact on institutions serving underrepresented groups, and the effects on students who are already marginalized. Many believe that instead of fixing the inconsistencies in the board results, an additional test has been forced onto the students. Many also worry that with the board exam effectively becoming obsolete, CUET will promote the coaching-class ethos.
“CUET may make education more accessible as there is a greater chance of generating equitable opportunity for students from underprivileged and marginalized sections, and rural areas. From a pool of several institutions, CUET will assist students in selecting one for their graduate study. However, certain legitimate concerns that can occur as a result of CUET must be handled by the University Grants Commission (UGC). The coaching-class culture is expected to increase, as we have seen with JEE and NEET. The UGC must introduce specific norms to minimize the negative effects on poor and marginalized students, especially those from rural regions who lack resources. But it has been repeatedly emphasized that the NCERT textbooks used for class 12 are the pertinent materials for the CUET.
The balance of several senior secondary boards, varied curricula, the integrity of 10+2 tests, geographical variances, distantly placed colleges, and other factors need particular consideration in order to ensure justice. CUET can bring positive changes in the field of education but its implementation should be ensured in a manner that its shortcomings are tackled effectively and even though certain exam administration issues exist, but they will be resolved over time as the merits outweighs the demerits”, concludes Pranav Gupta, Ashoka & Plaksha University founder, co-founder Jamboree Education.