After UG, CUET to be a mandate for PG admissions? A look at pros and cons | The Financial Express

After UG, CUET to be a mandate for PG admissions? A look at pros and cons

CUET PG will be conducted from June one to 10 for academic year 2023-24. Applications or registration process for the same will start in mid March.

UGC Chief, M Jagadesh Kumar, has asked all central universities to adopt CUET for admissions in the next academic year.
UGC Chief, M Jagadesh Kumar, has asked all central universities to adopt CUET for admissions in the next academic year.

With admissions in PostGraduate (PG) courses at Central Universities slated to begin in a few months, the University Grants Commission (UGC) Chief, M Jagadesh Kumar, has asked central universities to adopt Common University Entrance Test (CUET) to enrol students from the next academic session. This comes after UGC made CUET a mandatory criteria for undergraduate (UG) admissions across CUs which drew widespread attention last year as it made its debut in 2022 but seemingly failed.

Exams at various centres in 2022 were cancelled due to technical glitch, the admission process was delayed and the commencement of the new academic session was pushed to November instead of July. Besides, many students and academicians apprehended the move to dilute the quality of higher education due to its MCQ type format.

Now, as the regulatory body has announced its plans to roll out CUET for the 2023 PG admission cycle, which is scheduled to start from June 01, the education fraternity continues to face the same dilemma. “Even as CUET for UG has given students a chance to enrol into better universities based on their test score and not grade 12th marks, there is still a need to give better councelling to students in terms of choosing their field of study. The administrative lapses should be taken care of this time, so as to avoid inconvenience to students and academic loss,” Minakshi Lahkar, Assistant Professor, Delhi University, said.

It is believed that this policy could help in saving time and energy of students provided the system is made robust. “CUET is a step towards transparency and streamlining entrance level processes for central universities as private and deemed universities have also been extended an opportunity to participate,” Shweta Devgan, director – Test Prep , LawSikho, said.

Furthermore, industry observers believe that CUET as a single-window admission opportunity for students, makes it quite feasible for UG and PG aspirants to explore universities across the country and hence should be welcomed. “The expectations of industry and academia from PG aspirants differ with each domain. Therefore, a one size fits all approach might not be the most appropriate,” Sangita Banga, PVC, Manav Rachna University, said.

As for technical literacy required to conduct the examination, Rajesh Singh Tomar, Vice-Chancellor, Amity University, Gwalior, said that candidates in remote villages who do not have access to the internet will be deprived of the opportunity to get admission in participating in universities.

Moreover, on the possibility of a merger of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) with CUET, Asheesh Gupta, Pro-Vice Chancellor, JK Lakshmipat University, said that such large scale central entrance tests have several drawbacks as well. “They make students excessively dependent on coaching for the exam, which systematically puts the underprivileged or those who cannot afford the extra coaching at a disadvantage. Secondly, extreme pressure on students to perform on the all-important day and time of the examination, works against the holistic evaluation of the student,” he said.

According to industry observers, the experience of Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) may offer some ideas for a standard yet flexible admission approach. Each of the IIMs uses Common Admission Test (CAT) but gives different weightage to different aspects of the exam and also factors such as gender, experience, among others. It is not inconceivable for even different disciplines in a University to follow somewhat different criteria for admissions. CUET may be a useful input to the admission, but making it the sole basis on which one gets admitted to a programme may not be the best option, they opined.

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First published on: 10-01-2023 at 08:00 IST