JNU to discuss modalities of implementation of (CUCET) in Academic Council meeting…

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The Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) is an all-India test is being organized for admission to various Integrated/Under-Graduate, Post Graduate and Research Programmes in several Central Universities and State Universities of India.CUCET is among the major reforms introduced to the Indian education scenario in the recent past. In this academic year 2021 onwards, the government is mulling to conduct the CUCET as a common entrance test for admission to the 54 central universities.Delhi University admissions 2021 to be 50% on CUCET, 50% on board exam marks.As per an official announcement issued by JNU, the adoption of CUCET for admission of students, will lead to a “level playing field” for candidates across India and reduce the overall burden of conducting many entrance tests as well.However, the JNU Teachers’ Association (JNUTA) and the JNU students’ union (JNUSU) expressed their opposition to this decision.The CUCET was proposed under the National Education Policy (NEP) of 2020. According to a News18 report, the exam will focus on aptitude instead of academics. 

Why have the teachers at JNU expressed apprehension over CU-CET? What are their concerns?The opposition over JNU’s decision to implement CUCET comes from two places. One part of it is procedural. The JNUTA has claimed that the VC said the decision on the matter had already been taken in the 157th meeting of the AC.The second part of the teachers’ opposition comes from apprehensions over what it could mean for them. Former JNUTA President Ayesha Kidwai said the university offered many unique and interdisciplinary courses which could be under threat and using NET score for admission to PhD programmes was a “terrible move” with “no academic rationale”.All the universities are stakeholders and the UGC will take care of them all. There will be further deliberations and discussions and they will take all this into account.Not everyone has welcomed the idea of an overarching common entrance test, though.Disha Nawani, Professor, School of Education, Tata Institute of Social Sciences (Mumbai), agreed that the existing board-exam based screening is leading to unrealistic cut-offs, but felt a common entrance will not be an improvement. “Children come from very different socio-economic backgrounds and to expect them to sit together and tackle a centrally-set paper will not be fair. Eventually it will boil down to mastering the techniques to crack it which coaching institutes offer. As long as we continue to focus on modes of assessment instead of learning, this will be a continuation of the unjust system,” Nawani said.Abha Dev Habib, associate professor (Physics) at Miranda House in Delhi, and Ayesha Kidwai, professor at JNU’s Centre for Linguistics and former president of its teachers’ association, called the proposal an affront to the autonomy of universities. “Many universities offer highly specialised as well as multidisciplinary courses. And using the NET score for admission to PhD programmes is a terrible move. It has no academic rationale and will not promote equality,” Kidwai said.

The NEP, 2020 envisages that a common entrances will test the conceptual understanding and ability to apply knowledge, and will aim to eliminate the need for taking coaching for these exams. The flexibility of the NTA testing services will enable most universities to use these common entrance exams “rather than having hundreds of universities each devising their own entrance exams”, which will reduce the burden on the entire education system.Although the UGC has not yet announced the pattern of the exams once it is expanded, the report of the Tiwari committee holds some clues. It says the test for the undergraduate level would be in two parts.

List of 12 participating Central Universities in the CU-CET 2021:

Sr. No. Name of CU Website
1 Assam University, Silchar

2 Central University of Andhra Pradesh

3 Central University of Gujarat

4 Central University of Haryana

5 Central University of Jammu

6 Central University of Jharkhand

7 Central University of Karnataka

8 Central University of Kerala

9 Central University of Punjab

10 Central University of Rajasthan

11 Central University of South Bihar

12 Central University of Tamil Nadu

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