Bishops' forum against institute for testing

 The Catholic Bishops’ Conference of India (CBCI) has raised objections to the Centre’s plan to set up an organisation for conducting nationwide tests for entrance to engineering, medical and other professional programmes.

The objections came after a section of media reported that a Group of Secretaries (GoS) in its report to Prime Minister Narendra Modi has favoured the idea of having a national testing organisation for holding entrance examinations for admissions to all higher educational institutions.

HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar had recently told DH about the government’s plan to set up a National Testing Institute for conducting all entrance tests.

“The problem with the recommendation (of the GoS) is that the rights of the minorities, autonomy of the institutions and the requirements of the students from diverse regions, languages and social backgrounds would tend to be overlooked,” CBCI general secretary Bishop Theodore Mascarenhas said.

There was also no guarantee that the proposed national testing organisation will not land up in the same situation as “the existing testing organisations are in today,” he added.

The 11-member GoS, set up in October last year to look into the problems in the education sector and come up with “new ideas” to push the government’s reform agenda, submitted its report along with recommendations to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.

In its report, which was yet to be made public by the government, the panel of the top bureaucrats has reportedly recommended for making English mandatory for all students up to Class 10 from April this year.

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