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UGC exploring pilot run on common counselling for UG admissions

LIC

NEW DELHI: Like medical and engineering courses, the University Grants Commission (UGC) is exploring the idea of conducting a common counselling for undergraduate admissions based on Common University Entrance Test-Undergraduate (CUET-UG) scores. As reported first by TOI in July 2023, the UGC has formed a committee with officials from different universities to contemplate the idea and five renowned universities have been roped in for a pilot run.
According to a senior UGC official, “A panel has been formed to study the idea and the pilot will be conducted internally to study the pros and cons. Such a system will provide a single window for admissions and students can give their choices on a single portal instead of applying separately to universities.”
However, there is no clarity on by which academic session will this be implemented if the committee finds the idea feasible.
“Whether or not the idea will take off is not certain right now. It all depends on the panel’s findings and then we will have stakeholder consultations,” added the official.
According to sources, the five universities where the pilot run is being explored are Mizoram University, University of Hyderabad, Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU), Kashmir University, and Banaras Hindu University (BHU).
Earlier, the commission said it is contemplating the merger of engineering entrance exam JEE (Main) and medical entrance NEET-UG with Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG which was introduced in 2022. However, there has been no development on the plan.
With over 14.9 lakh registrations in 2023, the CUET-UG, the common gateway for undergraduate admissions in all central universities, is now the second biggest entrance exam in the country.
NEET-UG is the biggest entrance test in India with an average of 18 lakh registrations. While JEE (Mains) is a Computer-Based Test (CBT) conducted twice a year, NEET is conducted in pen-and-paper mode.
This year, the exam is scheduled to be conducted from May 15 to 31.
The standardised test was introduced in 2022 to streamline admission processes across central, state, deemed and private universities nationwide. A notable departure this year is that the National Testing Agency has outlined a hybrid examination format for CUET-UG 2024, including both computer-based testing and pen-and-paper modes for different subjects.
Officials have indicated that subjects witnessing high registration volumes will adopt a pen-and-paper format using optical mark recognition (OMR), while others will remain computer-based.

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