UPSC Daily Editorial Analysis | 24 March 2022

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THE REAL TEST

What the article is about?

  • Talks about the CUET, its prospects and way ahead for higher education.

Syllabus: GS-II Issues relating growth and development of education

CUET:

  • On 21st March 2022, the University Grants Commission (UGC) announced the introduction of the Central University Entrance Test (CUET), which is now mandatory for undergraduate admission at any of the 45 central universities in the country.
  • CUET is a revamped version of CUCET and it’s now compulsory for all 45 central universities to adopt it.
  • This has come after the announcement of the new National Education Policy (NEP), which advocates the need for an entrance test for university admissions.
  • The National Testing Agency (NTA) will conduct CUET for all central universities in the first week of July.
  • It is a computer-based test that will be held in two shifts and can be taken in 13 languages.
  • Each university is free to define its admission process based on the merit list prepared by the NTA.

Need for a common entrance test:

  • Diversity in Evaluation: Some Boards like CBSE are more generous than others in marking and this gives some students an unfair advantage over others.
  • Unrealistic Cutoffs: many colleges of Delhi University released their first cutoff at 100%.
  • Second Chance: It would give students another opportunity to show their potential even if they are unable to score well in board examinations.
  • Improper Pandemic scores: During the pandemic, many schools awarded marks in an arbitrary manner or inflated the marks of their students.
  • In such a situation, the 12th mark don’t show a true picture of a candidate’s capability.
  • Easing of Burden: The students need to give just one entrance test rather than multiple entrances for all the central universities.

Concerns associated:

  • Burden on the Marginalised Section: CUET might result in additional expenditure towards coaching.
  • Reduce relevance of Board Examinations: With CUET in place, students might pay less attention to 12th class syllabus and school learning.
  • Curtailing the Autonomy: The new system will curtail the autonomy of institutions to respond to ground realities.
  • Infrastructure Deficit: If it is conducted on a single day, then many cities especially tier 3 would not be able to provide the requisite number of computer labs and equipment for conducting the test.
  • Lack of Vernacular content: Experts have expressed concerns over the quality of content that would be provided in vernacular languages versus English.

Conclusion:

  • The CUET can be a game-changer in the sphere of higher education and help in curtailing the divide created by the evaluation methodology of different education boards in the country.
  • However, a greater degree of equity can be infused only when the issues surrounding CUET are duly addressed in a timely manner. 



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