No consensus on common test for admission to central varsities

Holding a common entrance test for admission to all central universities remained unresolved today with only five varsities, apart from the seven newer ones who have already adopted it, favouring the idea.

With University of Delhi and Jawaharlal Nehru University still dithering from it, the next round of deliberation has been fixed for November, said HRD Ministry officials.

At the end of a vice chancellors meet here, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal said five universities have agreed to the idea.

Ministry officials through maintained the test was not mandatory for all the 41 universities leaving the option open on its adoption.

The meeting, however, resolved to an 'external peer review' of the varsities for assessing their progress in terms of their commitments to their objectives and linkages with industry and research.

The five member review board would comprise scholars of national and international eminence.

It was also agreed to provide the universities the autonomy to start new programmes and departments without having to seek the approval of the HRD Ministry or UGC. At present, new schools of study can be opened only after amendment of statutes, making the exercise a long-drawn process.

The meeting also agreed on the issue of credit transfer among universities, officials said.

Bringing accountability into the system, the meeting resolved on reviewing the performance of the vice chancellors by an expert committee based on the vision spelt out by him or her for the university during appointment.

The process of the appointment will also reflect a roadmap set out by the vice chancellor for the varsity through a power point presentation, officials said.

On the issue of the common entrance test, officials said vice chancellor of Central University of Tamil Nadu B P Sanjay is holding consultation process with the vice chancellors of the central universities.

They said a proposal enabling a student to earn during the period of study was also discussed and was left to the individual universities to take it forward.

According to the proposal, vice chancellors are required to speak to the heads of industry, public sector units to organise practical experience gaining sessions for students.

Some universities like University of Delhi have already such a programme in place, they said.

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