Experts bat for single entrance test for engineering along lines of NEET

-JEE (Mains) could be made the common test with states scrapping their own tests

-Engineering aspirants can avoid writing multiple tests if a pan-India entrance exam is introduced

The national medical entrance exam, NEET 2018 UG results were out on June 4. With medical aspirants from across the country getting used to this single entrance test for admissions into MBBS and BDS courses in government colleges, private colleges, autonomous and deemed institutions,  the topic being debated in education circles is about a similar common entrance test for engineering aspirants.

One single test for engineering education idea to improve quality of technical education is doing rounds for some time now, but after successful conducting of NEET for the last three years, there is a growing demand to implement the same to help engineering aspirants.

Take the case of students interested to pursue MBBS, they had to write an entrance test in that respective state for admissions into government and private medical colleges. Not to miss out on the opportunity of studying medicine in neighboring states, students used to apply for common entrance tests in few neighboring states as well. To go with it, there were separate tests for deemed institutions for which students had to apply separately and travel all the way to appear for exams. Also, private medical colleges used to conduct their own entrance test for filling management and NRI categories. However after NEET came into effect, medical aspirants and their parents are breathing a sigh of relief. They need not write or apply anymore for a series of entrance tests conducted by various states and also private institutions.

Prof.G.V.K.Reddy, HoD, Civil in Vardhman engineering college, Hyderabad says that it is time a pan-India entrance test is also conducted for engineering education.

” Due to many entrance tests, the situation is becoming complex for students. Also, they are becoming stressed out. Each student is made to write six to seven entrance tests thus parents are made to spend up to nearly one lakh rupees only on entrance exams like application and registration, travel, accommodation charges etc. in a gap of few weeks,” he said.

A number of states conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admission based on marks of Class 12 board exams while some others conduct their own entrance examinations.

There are over 3,300 approved engineering colleges in the country affiliated to different universities, with an annual intake of nearly 16 lakh students.

Prof. Reddy said the present JEE (Joint Entrance Exam) could be expanded and adapted for filling engineering seats in colleges in all states. At present JEE is catering to admissions in IITs, NITs and Centrally funded institutes like IIITs, the professor said.

It may be noted that Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts Joint Entrance Examination (Mains) and nearly 11 lakh students appear for it every year.

Meanwhile, discussions are on by AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education), the regulatory body, to examine the possibility of JEE becoming a single entrance test.

Most states except a few like West Bengal are in favor of a single entrance test for engineering. Although AICTE initially planned to introduce this system in 2018 itself it has been put on hold after directions from Union HRD Ministry.  The ministry wants to assess the success of NEET before taking a decision on engineering test.

Dr Manoj Kumar, principal, DAV Institute of Engineering and Technology, Jalandhar felt that JEE (Mains) could be made the pan-India test after all states are convinced to scrap their own entrance tests. He also proposed the entrance test could be held twice in a year so that any student having one bad day or miss out writing the exam due to unexpected emergencies or health reasons can have another go at the exam, for which they toil hard for two years at a stretch.

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