- Introduction on CUET.
- Mention the significances.
- Mention the issues & challenges.
Following the objectives of the National Education Policy 2020, it has been decided to conduct a common entrance test for admission in Central Universities from the academic year 2022-23 in order to lighten the entire education ecosystem.
The CUET for the undergraduate programme seeks to assess students of different boards at the same level, irrespective of their class 12 marks, thus promoting ‘equal opportunity in higher education’. Students can apply for more than one Universities through a single application procedure, thereby reducing not only the financial burden but also providing wider access to choose options through a single application.
Significance of CUET:
- CUET is thus a revamped version of CUCET, which has been made mandatory for all the 45 Central Universities. It will eliminate the cumbersome multiple examinations.
- CUET will be student-friendly and optimize the academic machinery.
- The variance in evaluation by various Boards – some Boards are more generous in giving marks than others – thus, creating undue advantage to certain section of students. So, cutting across different Boards of Education, it has sought to streamline entrance tests, facilitating transparency in admission process. This will improve competition.
- It will get rid of unrealistic cut-offs. For example, there have been reports of 100% cut offs in Delhi University, leaving several students dejected.
- This will accord another opportunity to those students who could not fare well in their Board Examination, to get a seat in the premier Central Universities, creating a just distribution. Thus XII marks is no more an impediment in getting admission in Central Varsities. Also, the students will get screened according to the common standards set by the Universities.
- Improve chances of regional language aspirants in getting admission.
- In the wake of the pandemic, all Boards have awarded marks arbitrarily without holding any examination. Thus objective evaluation was compromised. CUET will provide an opportunity to evaluate those candidates, thereby preventing any undeserving candidate from entering the Central Varsities.
Issues and Challenges with CUET:
- An exclusive single National-level entrance examination centralizes the authority of conducting examination in one institution, negating autonomy of Universities.
- Many states believe that subjecting to a National-level exam is unjust on the basis of merit and inclusivity. CUET seeks to interfere in institutions’ existing admission & reservation policies.
- It fails to test skills like empathy, innovation, leadership, Emotional Intelligence, etc. – crucial for success in today’s world.
- Being multiple-choice based, it disincentivizes concept-building or alternate interpretation, so crucial for true learning in streams like Humanities.
- It is reportedly based on the Model syllabus of NCERT, which will inevitably push state and other boards to follow NCERT syllabus. It often results in narrow focus developing very poor soft skills.
- It will give impetus to coaching centres to groom students. Hence, it will put economic burden on the disadvantaged sections, thus vitiating with the goal of equitable access to higher education. It will encourage students only from the privileged sections.
- This will aggravate the rural-urban divide in accessing quality education, especially when 65% population is still rural. Since most of the study materials available, are in English, and also given the nature of the exam and its CBT (computer based test), it can discourage the rural deserving candidates as they are not technically equipped to handle the exam.
- Many Universities still suffer from inadequate financial resources, infrastructure and poor enrolment. The availability of low-number of seats compared to large number of aspirants along with high teacher vacancy in Central Universities can compound the existing woes.
- CUET creates needless uniformity ignoring the specific strengths and unique aspects of different Universities. It can damage the already frayed University structure of India.