Delhi University (DU) might see the implementation of Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) from next year in accordance with the University Grants Commission (UGC) directions to central universities to prepare for its implementation from the 2022-23 academic session.
The entrance test was put off due to the pandemic this year.
While sections of teachers raised apprehensions about implementing a common entrance test for admission, university officials said that the test would streamline the admission process and resolve the issue of high cutoffs the university witnesses every year.
DU vice-chancellor Yogesh Singh said on Tuesday that the university will place the proposal for discussing CUCET before the academic council and executive council before its adoption. “The university has received the communication from the UGC. We will place this proposal before our statutory bodies, academic council, and executive council, and finalise how DU will adopt CUCET,” said Singh.
Some teachers said that the new format should be deliberated upon, and added that it could work to the disadvantage of students from marginalised backgrounds, as well as students who may wish to opt for a change in stream.
Teachers’ group Academics for Action and Development (AAD) member and former DU executive council member Rajesh Jha said that while reforms were required, they should not be imposed unilaterally on all universities without deliberation. Jha also said that the entrance test might work to the disadvantage of students who aim to shift streams after Class 12.
“A science student may want to shift to a non-science course for graduation. Such students might find the entrance test inconvenient. There are a lot of complexities that need to be taken into consideration,” said Jha.
He added that the entrance test might aid the mushrooming of coaching centres, which would burden students who don’t come from well-off backgrounds.
He said that the university was already conducting entrance tests for some courses. “The doors of DU have been open for students of all backgrounds. With an entrance test, there will be an emphasis on coaching and other resources, which are not accessible to all students,” said Jha.
Former executive council member AK Bhagi underlined that the National Testing Agency was already conducting entrance tests for admission to professional courses, even though the majority of admissions were taking place based on merit.
He said that there was a need to discuss if the common entrance test was needed, and, if yes, what would be the weightage for the test and the possibility of merit seats. “In my view, the university should adopt a policy only after considering that the move should not encourage private coaching. Coaching should not become a key player in entrance preparation since this will burden parents and students, especially from economically weaker backgrounds,” said Bhagi.
Bhagi, who is also the president of Delhi University Teachers’ Association (DUTA), said that DUTA will finalise a response after discussing the matter with its other members as well as members of the academic council.
DU registrar Vikas Gupta said that the entrance will allow for optimum utilisation of seats and streamline the admission process. “Right now, we don’t know the exact number of students scoring the exact percentage of marks vis a vis course choice. The entrance will make things clearer for us. Based on the entrance score, we will be able to give admission. The concerns that arise due to the variable marking policy of different boards will also be resolved,” said Gupta.