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UGC’s Common Entrance Test for Undergrad Admissions:

GS Paper 2:

Topics Covered: Issues related to Education.

 

Context:

The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that admission into undergraduate courses in all centrally-funded universities will henceforth be solely on the basis of a Common University Entrance Test (CUET).

 

What does this mean for the students and the universities?

  • All 45 central universities will have to admit students on the basis of their scores on the test.
  • Class 12 Board Exam marks will no longer be considered.

 

What is CUET?

  • The CUET will be a computerised test to be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA).
  • Following the exam, the NTA will prepare a merit list on the basis of which these universities will admit students.
  • This entrance test is compulsory for all the central universities and may also be adopted by the state/private/deemed to be universities.
  • The entrance exam will be offered in 13 languages.
  • International students are exempted from CUET; their admissions will be carried out on the existing supernumerary basis.

 

Need for:

  • To level the playing field for aspirants as different examination boards in the country may mark students differently )Some Boards are more generous than others in marking and this gives their students an unfair advantage over others).
  • It will save students from the “stress of impossibly high cut-offs for admission”. Last year, eight DU colleges had set cut-offs at 100% marks for 11 courses.
  • It is expected to reduce financial burden on parents and students, as candidates will only have to write one exam.

 

About NTA:

In pursuance of the Budget Announcement 2017-18, the Union Cabinet, in November 2017, approved creation of the National Testing Agency (NTA) as an autonomous and self-sustained premier testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) in the country.

 

Constitution:

  • NTA will be chaired by an eminent educationist appointed by MHRD.
  • The CEO will be the Director General to be appointed by the Government.
  • There will be a Board of Governors comprising members from user institutions.
  • The Director General will be assisted by 9 verticals headed by academicians/ experts.

 

Finances:

NTA will be given a one-time grant of Rs.25 crore from the Government of India to start its operation in the first year. Thereafter, it will be financially self-sustainable.”

 

InstaLinks:

Prelims Link:

  1. Education related issues.
  2. CUET.
  3. UGC.
  4. Common Entrance Test.

Mains Link:

Discuss the significance of CUET.

Sources: Indian Express.