No such chance at the moment, says the Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD), which has scrapped the idea to introduce a Common Engineering Entrance Examination on the same lines as that of National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) from the 2018-19 session. Earlier in the year, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had announced its plan to introduce a national-level common entrance examination for engineering colleges from the next academic year in 2018-19. AICTE is the country’s technical education regulator. After the announcement by AICTE in the month of March, the Prakash Javadekar-led HRD Ministry later in April had put a hold on the move for a single entrance test for engineering courses across the country till states reach a consensus.
As per a senior official, “It has been decided that there will be no common engineering exam next year. However, the idea has not been completely discarded. The AICTE will submit a report about the feasibility of conducting the exam in future.” Taking a cue from NEET introduced last year, the HRD Ministry had initiated steps for a common test for admission to engineering courses. Until now, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts major entrance examinations that include Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) for admission to engineering courses. Over 11 lakh students appear for it every year.
According to a source, as quoted by PTI, the AICTE had decided that single entrance test would be conducted multiple times every year and it will be designed in a way that the linguistic diversity of the country is taken into consideration. This step was being taken to bring greater transparency, maintain high standards and also to try and ensure that students are saved the burden of taking too many tests. However, the move was being opposed by the West Bengal and Tamil Nadu governments after which the HRD had put a hold on the decision.