Govt dumps single CET idea

Higher Education minister V S Acharya on Monday said the government was not keen on conducting a single CET as it would not benefit the State students.

The government has no objection to the existing system of dual CET — one conducted by the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) and the other by COMED-K (consortium of private medical, engineering and dental colleges). “The COMED-K test is for all India students, and the majority of them are from outside the State. About 1.75 lakh students from Karnataka appear for the CET conducted by the State government every year, while a meagre one per cent of the State’s students appear for the COMED-K test,” he said.

Pointless
“Our concern is to protect the State quota of 50 per cent seats in engineering courses and 42 per cent in medical courses in private colleges for the benefit of our students. Even if a single CET is held at the State level, COMED-K will hold a separate test for students from outside. So there is no point in having a single CET,” he said.

For the past two years, the government has been negotiating with private managements and COMED-K for reverting to a single-window admission system to enable students to appear for a single qualifying examination for admissions to all professional courses in the State.

Currently, students can appear for two examinations: The government’s CET and the undergraduate entrance test conducted by COMED-K.

‘Address inequities’
COMED-K and other private engineering, medical and dental colleges were demanding that the government address inequities in the fee structure before taking any decision on the single CET.

Besides, COMED-K wants the KEA to perform as an independent and autonomous authority, instead of being an outreach arm of the government.Acharya said the KEA’s mandate was not confined to the CET alone. The government is holding various examinations through the KEA. Hence, it is not possible to make the KEA an autonomous body as demanded by the COMED-K.

As far as the fee structure is concerned, Acharya said the fee will be decided based on an agreement between the government and private college managements. He also indicated that the fee structure for the coming academic year will be same as the current year.

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