In the coming academic year, the UGC plans to merge JEE and NEET with the CUET (UG) exam, and is planning to form a committee by the end of the month to study ways and processes to do so. “The introduction of a common test is very much an implication of the New Education Policy, 2020 as one test aims to make life easier for students who have to write multiple tests currently and studying the same subjects in the process. Organizing just one-test helps students save themselves from the hassle of preparing for multiple exams and concentrate fully on the one test. Many developed countries worldwide have done this”, adds Vineet Gupta, Ashoka University Founder.
The importance of implementing the idea
We have used the JEE or NEET exam for years to qualify for engineering and medical schools, and for better or worse these exams have been an important part of our education system. Moreover, the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) which started this year was introduced for the first time in 2010 as CUCET (Central Universities Common Entrance Test).
According to the UGC, the syllabus for the CUET will be fully based on the NCERT, and as long as students have prepared for their boards well, they should not have any problems taking an expanded CUET in the future. It sounds great on paper that JEE, NEET and CUET should be combined, but given the fact that the NTA had technical problems at various centers during phase II of the CUET UG exams this year, students have a shadow of doubt about the NTA’s ability to take on the pressure of merging all three exams and conduct them smoothly.
Based on a Times Now survey, 70% of students think mergers are bad. NTA (National Testing Agency) is aware of what happened earlier in August at various testing centers across the country and has since taken remedial action to resolve the issues. Going forward, the NTA intends to open examination centers that can also serve as training centers when not in use as examination centers.
UGC is hedging its bets and not committing too much to the idea. “It is good to see that the UGC is placing a committee in place to evaluate the feasibility of this merger and taking input from various industry stakeholders before arriving at a decision. This will ensure nothing comes as a rude shock for students and other stakeholders that make up the ecosystem and everyone will have enough time in their hands to prepare for the exam. I also welcome the UGC’s suggestion to conduct the CUET-UG multiple times a year so that students get another attempt at the test instead of waiting a full year to reappear for the same”, said Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.
Both the NTA and UGC need to work together to diffuse any concerns and ensure the best possible outcome can be reached keeping the welfare of students in mind when implementing this merger. As a result of the proposed merger of the entrance tests, the accreditation and ranking bodies will be combined into one to implement the New Education Policy 2020 changes.