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The Editorial Analysis- Centralising Tests

Centralising Tests- Relevance for UPSC Exam

  • GS Paper 2: Issues relating to development and management of Social Sector/Services relating to Health, Education; & Human Resources.

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संपादकीय विश्लेषण- केंद्रीकृत परीक्षण 

Common University Entrance Test (CUET) in news

  • Recently, the decision was taken to conduct a Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission in undergraduate programs in all University Grants Commission (UGC) funded Central Universities (CUs) from 2022-23.
  • This decision to conduct Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is being criticized by many.

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Common University Entrance Test (CUET)

  • Background: The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) proposal is influenced by the National Education Policy (NEP).
    • National Education Policy (NEP) advocates common entrance examinations by the National Testing Agency for undergraduate and graduate admissions and fellowships.
    • Over a dozen CUs admits students to undergraduate programs using Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) scores.
  • About: The proposed CUET, in 13 languages, seeks to make it mandatory for 45 CUs — there are 54 such institutions — to conduct admissions using a single national level test score.
  • Prior Recommendation: In 1984, the Madhuri R. Shah Committee, looking into the working of CUs, recommended a national merit examination.
  • Expected Benefits: CUET would spare aspirants from taking multiple entrance tests and also eliminate the unfair advantage gained from disproportionate scores in class XII.

UNESCO State of Education Report 2021

Associated Criticism of CUET

  • Killing Diversity of Knowledge System: Critics are evidently viewing this development through the prism of the present government’s obsession with pushing the ‘one nation, one standard’ maxim in different sectors.
    • However, in 1984, the Madhuri R. Shah Committee, looking into the working of CUs, recommended a national merit examination.
  • Doubts over Reservation: Many believe that the one Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will negatively affect the candidates who benefit from present reservation policy.
    • However, the UGC has clarified the existing scheme of reservations in individual universities would not be disturbed.
  • Fails to consider regional disparity: the CUET may not qualify as a wholesome determinant of merit given the educational and regional disparities in India.
    • While a vast majority study in State Boards, the test would be based on the NCERT syllabus, followed largely in CBSE schools.
    • The policy limits the Class XII marks as a qualification benchmark and not a co-determinant of merit.
  • Concerns of States: Education Ministers from Tamil Nadu, Meghalaya and Arunachal Pradesh have flagged some legitimate concerns.
    • In the northeast, the argument about the test possibly affecting the interest of State domiciles to secure admission in a university in the region cannot be ignored.
  • Creating Divide between Rich and Poor: It has been sufficiently demonstrated that common entrance tests spawn the coaching industry and induce cost-heavy hybrid courses from class VI onwards.
    • This will result in creating a divide between the haves and have-nots.

NITI Aayog Report: 11 Measures to Improve School Education

 

Conclusion

  • The idea of CUET needs to be dispassionately examined if prescribing a single entrance test as a sole determinant of merit, either for CUs or for the higher education system as a whole, is pragmatic.

 

National Education Policy

National Education Policy

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