New Delhi : The Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry’s ambitious plans for a common entrance exam for all engineering colleges and an exit exam for engineering graduates have suffered a jolt. Tamil Nadu has strongly objected to the move being ‘forced’ on the country by the Centre.
At a special meeting of All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) held in the capital on January 11, representatives of Tamil Nadu government expressed strong objection to the two proposals brought to the table. Tamil Nadu, in fact, is learned to have been the sole state opposing the move at the special meeting called for approving the two proposals. With Tami Nadu registering opposition and some others also chiming in soon after, HRD ministry and AICTE has now been forced to put the project on hold for now and start another round of consultations with all states to build consensus for the move.
Tamil Nadu is learned to have argued that it believes that its academic system is rigorous enough and Class XII marks scored in the state board exams were a fairly reasonable eligibility criteria that captured the merit better for admission to all engineering colleges in the state as has been the case so far. The state conveyed at the meeting that it felt no reason to switch instead to a centralized entrance exam to determine admissions to engineering colleges in its states, sources said.
Chairman of AICTE Anil Sahasrabudhe confirmed that some participants had divergent views, so the move has been put on hold for now. “Tamil Nadu did raise some objections. But it was not just them. Some others also had some counter questions on the applicability of such an exam in rural segments.
In general most people thought it a good idea but there were some different views as well. So it was decided to keep it on hold for now and hold further discussion,” said Sahasrabudhe.
The Prakash Javadekar-led HRD ministry had only recently come up with a proposal for a common engineering entrance exam similar to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) for medical colleges. With over 3,000 engineering colleges in the country, the ministry has made a case for a single and standardized exam format for all engineering institutes- public and private- to ensure greater transparency in the admission process. At a recent meeting of all IIT Directors, it was also proposed that an ‘Exit Test’ be conducted to assess the ‘attainment levels in engineering’ of those graduating out of various engineering colleges in the country.
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