Plans to put in place by 2013 single entrance test to rank students across India
The Union ministry of human resource development (MoHRD)
is all set to revolutionise the way students get admitted to various engineering
and undergraduate level courses in colleges across the country. Borrowing a leaf
out of the American education system's Scholar Aptitude Test (SAT), the MoHRD is
planning a similar single entrance examination which will rank students across the
country and enable them to get admission according to their rankings.
By 2013, there would not be any joint entrance examination for the coveted IITs
and other engineering courses. Students need to just sit for the single National
Aptitude Test (NAT) and get admitted according to their positions. A similar examination
was being planned for all the B. Sc, B. Com and BA undergraduate programmes. This
would mean students can stop losing sleep over the crazy cut-off percentage system
for admissions and instead try and get good rankings in the new aptitude test. However,
their class 12 marks would continue to cast a shadow on deciding admissions.
The revolutionary scheme has been credited to Union HRD minister Kapil Sibal who
came up with the concept of the "one nation, one exam" recently. The proposed reform
would benefit more than 10 lakh students annually, who at present have to take multiple
examinations to pursue engineering and other undergraduate courses.
But not everyone was happy with the proposal. Noted educationist and former school
Principal Vibha Parthasarathy felt that "each child has a different aptitude so
you cannot homogenise the system. Having a common entrance test just doesn't make
any sense." Former NCERT chairman Krishna Kumar, however, said that "a similar system
in medical courses is needed and prevents students from being stressed out."
According to a senior MoHRD official, this examination "will be sufficient to get
admissions in colleges across the country as a single merit list will be prepared
based on the common aptitude test. All colleges in the country will have to make
admissions based on this list."
In the run up to preparing a legislation to put this into effect, the MoHRD conducted
an online survey for three months, starting June this year. The ministry was overwhelmed
with parents and students supporting the initiative wholeheartedly. Nearly 70 %
of the 2,063 participants were in favour of this proposed initiative.
India' single-entrance would, however, suit Indian requirements. "We have to tweak
the SAT system to our requirements and keep factors such as diversity and the size
of the Indian population in mind. For instance, a student from Tamil Nadu does not
have to write a test in Hindi," the official told DNA.
The test would be conducted twice a year so that those who failed to make the cut
once get another chance to improve.
For this, the official said the Indian education system was going in for
a major overhaul by having a semester system.
Courtesy: DNA India