Govt to hold talks with states over engg entrance

Centre asks AICTE to chart out strategy for single test

Govt to hold talks with states over engg entrance

The Centre will soon start a fresh bid to bring all the states on board to implement a long-standing proposal of holding a single entrance examination for admissions to engineering colleges.

The executive body of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) at its meeting on Wednesday decided to hold a “broader consultation” with the state governments on the issue to fulfil the demands of parents and students, official sources told DH.

The issue was taken up at the meeting after the human resource development (HRD) ministry asked the technical education regulator to chart out a strategy for holding a single entrance test for admission to engineering colleges.

“At the meeting, all members were convinced with the idea that it was necessary to hold a common entrance test for admissions to all technical institutes in the country to improve the quality of technical education. Unless all the states come on board, the proposal cannot be brought on the ground,” an official source said.

The Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts Joint Entrance Examination-Main (JEE-Main) for admissions to the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other centrally funded technical institutes. For admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the joint admission board of the premier technical institutes holds JEE-Advance.

Only six states — Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Haryana, Uttarakhand, Nagaland and Odisha — currently accept the JEE-Main scores for admissions to the engineering colleges under them.

The Centre introduced JEE in 2012 as a common entrance test for admissions to centrally funded technical institutions during the previous UPA regime.

The initial proposal was to hold the test for admissions to all engineering colleges, but the HRD ministry had to drop the idea due to protests from the IITs. Buckling under pressure, the ministry had to agree to hold the test in two parts — JEE-Main and JEE-Advance.

The ministry’s renewed efforts to hold a single entrance test gained momentum after the implementation of the National Eligibility and Entrance Test (NEET) for admission to medical colleges.

“It goes in the larger interest of parents and students if a common test for admissions to all engineering colleges could be held. But it seems to be an uphill task as the NEET could be brought in place only because of a Supreme Court order,” an IIT professor said.

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