Technical glitches in CUET not 'setbacks', need to plan well: UGC Chairman
The debut edition of CUET-UG began in July and has been marred with glitches prompting the National Testing Agency (NTA) to cancel exams at multiple centres. While several students were informed about cancellation a night before the exam, many of them were turned away from centres citing cancellations. UGC chief Jagadesh Kumar had earlier said that in future the engineering entrance exam JEE and medical entrance exam NEET will also be merged with CUET.
The technical glitches encountered in the initial phases of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will not affect expansion plans for the crucial exam which includes a proposal to merge it with JEE and NEET, according to UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar.
"The early technological issues with CUET-UG are not failures, but rather learning. They will soon be resolved and won't stop scaling up or expanding plans for the important test in any way," he said in an interview. Earlier, Kumar had stated that the CUET will eventually incorporate both the JEE for engineering and the NEET for medicine.
"According to the NEP, a single admission exam is intended to relieve students of the strain of taking several entrance exams. We won't rush to launch it, though, since we need to make a good strategy first. It is a significant exercise," he explained. When asked when the merger was anticipated, Kumar responded that the details still needed to be worked out.
"By the end of this month, an expert committee will be established. It will research all significant admission tests taking place both domestically and internationally. There must be agreement among all parties, and the two main issues we need to address are the syllabus and the difficulty level as each discipline has its own peculiarities. If we have to introduce the exam next year, the preparation has to start now considering the massive exercise and the different disciplines involved," he said.
The National Testing Agency (NTA) has had to cancel tests at several locations due to difficulties that have plagued the CUET-initial UG's edition since it started in July. Even though many students received cancellation information the night before the exam, several of them were turned away from testing centres. According to Kumar, several testing locations have cancelled the exam due to "sabotage" claims.
On Wednesday, the CUET-fourth UG's phase is scheduled to start. The CUET, the single entrance for undergraduate admissions in all central institutions, has surpassed JEE-average Main's registration of nine lakh candidates to become the second-largest entrance test in the nation with 14.9 lakh registrations. With an average of 18 lakh registrants, NEET-UG is India's largest entrance examination.
(With PTI inputs)