The Human Resource Development Ministry has decided to junk the plan of introducing a common engineering entrance exam from next year.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the country's technical education regulator, had announced in March that a national-level common entrance examination for engineering colleges would be conducted from the next academic year in 2018.
However, the Ministry had decided to put the idea on hold for reviewing the success of the National Eligibility Entrance Test (NEET) for admission into medical colleges, before moving ahead.
"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 feasibility of conducting the exam in future," a senior official said.
Taking a cue from NEET introduced last year, the HRD Ministry had initiated steps for a common test for admission to engineering courses.
The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) for admission to engineering courses. Over 11 lakh students appear for it every year.
A number of states conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admission based on marks of the Class XII board exams. Several private colleges also conduct their own entrance examinations.
There are over 3,300 approved engineering colleges in the country affiliated to universities, with an annual intake of around 16 lakh students.