UG Admissions: Why most state universities are still unsure about CUET based admissions

As most universities release their merit list for admission to undergraduate courses this week, as many as 16 state-run universities have stayed away from CUET, at least for this academic year. The vice-chancellors of some of these state universities pointed to what they said was a lack of standardization in the entrance test and said they would prefer to rely on their old admissions process.

This year, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has introduced the Common Undergraduate University Entrance Test (CUET-UG) and made it mandatory for all central universities to take it. However, it was not made compulsory for state universities, although UGC chief M Jagadesh Kumar said he would like more state institutions to consider adopting CUET.

In August, Kumar held a virtual conference with heads of various deemed universities and VCs of some state universities and urged them to be a part of CUET’s debut year. However, not everyone agreed.

“The president called a meeting with the vice-chancellors where they made a suggestion about the different streams of students entering the degree, from CBSE, ICSE and state board. But, there is no standardization between the curriculum and the dissemination of knowledge. CBSE syllabus is much more advanced compared to states and at the same time you are competing with national level entrance exams like NEET, JEE, CUET,” said Prof D Ravinder Yadav, VC , University of Osmania.

“Thus, where these state board students study, especially the rural/regional medium, they are not in a position to compete with students from urban and convent schools. That is why we raised this objection, but somehow they decided on common college entrance test,” Yadav added.

He also added that since the state has its own hierarchy, it will follow whatever the Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE) decides.

CUET, CUET UG 2022, CUET UG, State Universities Not Taking CUET, State Universities CUET As the UGC directed all central universities to adopt the CUET UG exam this year, many state universities decided against it. (Graphics by Abhishek Mitra)

Recently retired Mumbai University VC Professor Suhas Pednekar agreed. “There is a degree of complexity in accepting it immediately and going ahead, where the decision comes from different boards (ICSE, SSC, CBSE and equivalent),” Pednekar said, adding that there was very little time to make arrangements and understand how to implement CUET.

Some of the heads of state universities said they are in wait and watch mode.

“The MCQ format limits creativity”

When asked whether the MCQ format is suitable for such a large entrance exam, JNU Vice-Chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit said during a session of The Indian Express Exchange of ideas cannot have admissions based on the MCQs. “We don’t even know if the student has the ability to write something. There should be qualitative answers and test of other skills rather than rote memory. Many of them may not even understand the language and communication issues,” he had said.

While the JNU VC had raised this issue regarding the CUET PG exam, Alok Rai, VC, Lucknow University, said it is applicable to CUET UG as well. Rai said the MCQ format can limit a student’s creativity. “Standardization is not good and students should be allowed to be creative with their answers,” he said.

Yadav, VC, Osmania University, also said that he is not sure whether the quality of students clearing the MCQ-based CUET exam will match its current level. “We don’t know because there is no standardization of the curriculum and dissemination of knowledge. Naturally, there is variation, there is no equity and access. So how can they go to this kind of test? You provide the common syllabus, the common access, the common quality, then you go for the CUET after a while, but certainly not now”, he added.

Pednekar, the former Mumbai University VC, also cautioned, “The process should not take so much time that students lose academic days. Students and teachers should be given enough time to complete the curriculum.” .

Uncertain state universities

When asked if she would like to implement CUET for undergraduate courses next year, Lucknow University Rai pointed out that the university is a state-run university under the State Universities Act, 1973 .”We are governed by the Government of Uttar Pradesh. Also, we are a NAAC++ recognized university and our entrance tests are customized accordingly and foolproof. We have not yet received any such mandate from the government” .

While Mahatma Gandhi University in Kottayam in Kerala did not opt ​​for CUET as it is a state university and the decision rests with the state government, its vice-chancellor said. which he thinks is a good step. “With this step, students from all over the country can be part of the university. It will bring diversity to the campus and people will learn new things,” said Professor Sabu Thomas.

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