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CUET vs Class 12 exam scores: Students, experts differ over UGC's decision

International students will be exempt from CUET for admission in Indian universities and they will continue to be admitted according to the existing practice of the varsities on a supernumerary basis, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said.

Reported by: Vani Mehrotra @vani_mehrotra New Delhi Published on: March 23, 2022 12:52 IST
CUET, Class 12 board exam scores
Image Source : PTI/REPRESENTATIVE

CUET -- Common University Entrance Test. What students say

Highlights

  • Central universities will now have to use CUET scores to admit students to undergraduate programs
  • The CUET, in all likelihood, will be conducted in the first week of July
  • The CUET will be conducted in accordance with the NCERT syllabus, the UGC has said

The University Grants Commission's (UGC) announcement on central universities admitting students on the basis of Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores has left experts and students divided. According to the official UGC notification, central universities will have to use CUET scores to admit students to undergraduate programs and not Class 12 marks. The CUET, in all likelihood, will be conducted in the first week of July, it stated. 

The UGC also clarified that the CUET will be conducted in accordance with the NCERT syllabus. There are 45 central universities funded by the UGC.

While experts feel the decision might put those school boards at a disadvantage where different books are taught, university professors say the CUET will pose a disadvantage for students coming from rural areas and other state boards.

Meanwhile, the UGC's decision has also garnered student reactions. 

Commenting on the CUET, a student told India TV Digital that the Class 12 exam will now act only as a qualifying exam for the entrance test. Class 12 board exams have now lost value, JEE aspirant Ashutosh Kumar said. 

Ashutosh, however, felt the UGC's decision is right as it would provide a better playing field, to which several students agreed. 

Another student opined that the initiative will help bring an end to university politics and that the race for board exams will now be over. The same should also be mandated for all private and state universities. 

Some also voiced that the UGC decision will now make Class 12 board exams useless and said they would not be motivated to perform better in intermediate. 

CUET Vs Class 12 Boards -- What experts say

The main concern revolves around NCERT. Sudha Acharya, the chairperson of the National Progressive Schools Conference, said, "Many state boards are using NCERT books while some have their own books. The CBSE, which uses NCERT books, is more progressive towards competition. NCERT books are very standardized and they are written by renowned experts. The ICSE Board has different books and students from there might be at a disadvantage."

The principal of an ICSE school, requesting anonymity, said it looks as if the CUET will put the students, especially from ICSE Board, at a disadvantage. But she quickly added that it will be better to wait and watch.

"Coaching institutes have already started providing coaching for CUET. This means that students from urban areas and those who have resources will be at an advantage," Delhi University professor Rajesh Jha said.

Delhi University professor Abha Dev Habib also concurred with Jha and said they are forcing the same syllabus on everyone.

"Education is in the concurrent list and there are various state boards. Even for the NCERT syllabus, MCQs will start guiding one's schooling in Class 11 and Class 12. The MCQs are trick questions and even in JEE and NEET, we see that students require coaching to clear exams. Same will be the situation here," she said.

International students will be exempt from CUET for admission in Indian universities and they will continue to be admitted according to the existing practice of the varsities on a supernumerary basis, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said.

The CUET Pattern

As per the UGC, the CUET will have Section 1A, Section 1B, general test and domain-specific subjects. Section 1A, which will be compulsory, will be in 13 languages and candidates can choose the language of their choice. The options are English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.

Section 1B is optional and for students who want to opt for another language apart from the ones that are a part of Section 1A. Some of the languages on offer are French, Arabic, German, etc.

Under the domain-specific subjects, a candidate can choose up to a maximum of six domains that they wish to pursue at the undergraduate level.

Some of the domains are anthropology, accounting, book-keeping, etc.

There are some universities that have a general test as eligibility criteria for admission to even domain-specific courses so that is a part of the CUET.

The UGC chairman said the reservation policy of the universities will not be impacted due to the CUET.

Explaining further, he said if a university has a certain percentage of seats reserved for local students, it will be able to retain that.

"But these students will also have to take admission through CUET," he added.

The CUET will be held in two shifts. In the first shift, candidates will be able to write one language, two domain-specific papers and the general test. In the second shift, candidates can write the remaining four domain-specific subjects and section 1B, Kumar said.

Detailed guidelines regarding CUET will soon be released by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Also Read | Class 12 marks won't count, common entrance test for admission in Central universities

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