Common entrance test in July for central universities, Class 12 marks won’t count

The first ever mandatory common entrance test for admission to undergraduate programmes in all the 45 Central universities will be held in the first week of July, UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar announced on Monday.

The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) is a computerised exam and will be conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA), which will announce the test pattern on Tuesday, he said. The application window for the examination will open in the first week of April.

Admission to undergraduate courses in these universities will henceforth be solely based on the CUET score, and Class 12 Board marks will not carry any weightage, Kumar said. The universities can, at best, use the Board exam marks as an eligibility criterion for the test, he said.

This effectively means that performance in the Class 12 Board examination will no longer be a factor in admissions across Central universities. In other words, the sky-high cut-off marks at Delhi University are now history. This year, seven DU colleges had asked for 100 per cent marks in the first list to admit students to a total of 10 programmes.The Government did not favour using Board marks for admission because of the “diversity” in evaluation methods. “Some Boards are more generous than others in marking and this gives their students an unfair advantage over others,” said an official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Following the CUET, each university will admit students based on a merit list prepared by NTA, and there will be no common counselling.

Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia and Indira Gandhi National Open University in the national capital, and Aligarh Muslim University and Banaras Hindu University in UP, are among the well-known Central universities that will now be covered by CUET.

When asked whether Central universities that reserve seats for minorities, such as AMU and Jamia, will also have to adopt CUET, Kumar clarified that the test is compulsory for all 45 Central universities funded by UGC. He added that CUET will not affect the quota of reserved seats at such institutions, but they will have to mandatorily admit all students through the common test.

“The only difference is that these students will also have to come through CUET, like students to be admitted on general seats. The reservation policies and ordinances of the universities will remain unchanged,” the UGC chairperson said.

AMU and Jamia have not clarified their stand yet on joining the entrance test.

CUET will carry multiple choice questions based on NCERT textbooks and students will be marked negatively for incorrect answers. The entrance test will have three sections (see box). The CUET 2022 will be offered in 13 languages, namely Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Punjabi, Odia and English.

The exam will be conducted in two shifts. In the first shift, candidates will appear for Section I (languages), two chosen domain subjects and the general test. In the second shift, they will appear for the other four domain subjects and an additional language test, if opted for.

International students are exempted from CUET; their admissions will be carried out on the existing supernumerary basis.



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