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The CUET mandate warrants a cautious implementation


Central Universities may have been caught unaware when the University Grants Commission made it mandatory from this year to admit students solely on the basis and merit of scores in the Central University Entrance Test.


GS-II: Government Policies and Interventions for Development in various sectors and Issues arising out of their Design and Implementation.

Dimensions of the Article

  • Readiness of Universities and Students
  • Cutting no ice
  • What are other options
  • Respecting Autonomy
  • Way Forward

Readiness of Universities and Students

  • Universities themselves do not have clarity about the details to be filled for the application of the exam.
  • Student must know their language and subject they are applying for as they can appear for 6 out 27 subjects.
  • Yet most have agreed to the implementation of the process.

Cutting no ice

  • Central Universities have no option but to accept the mandate.
  • Institutes of National Importance (INIs) already admit students on the basis of a single common entrance test.
  • NEET is already in place for medical entrance examinations.
  • 12 Central Universities are already admitting students on the basis of single common entrance test.
  • Neglect of board exams has already been put in a cold bin.
  • CUET will save costs, time and hassles of students.
  • Concerns of the quality of the tests arising on account of the autonomy, competence, credibility and expertise of the NTA have also been alluded as the universities taking their own exam also can’t ensure holistic tests.
  • Many large central universities have been criticized for admitting students based on arbitrary and absurd cut offs.

Respecting Autonomy

  • World-Class Universities do not insist on admitting students on the basis of a singular test.
  • They grant their faculty the freedom to admit students.
  • National Education Policy 2020 also mentioned the need for a common principle for entrance examination while respecting the autonomy of the students.
  • UGC should have taken the universities and other stakeholders into consideration before rolling out the changes.
  • States should also have been considered as Higher Education is a concurrent subject.
  • Central Universities put together form 5.08% of the students admitted while the rest 94.92% are admitted in self-financed State private and public funded State universities, and their colleges.

Way Forward

Formation of Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) must be expedited and the NEP 202 must be implemented as soon as possible. However, the approach must be cautious ensuring consultation with all stakeholders.

Source – The Hindu

December 2023