The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) on Wednesday said it prefers the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission to undergraduate programs to remain an option for colleges and universities in the country.
Addressing a press conference here, AIU general secretary Pankaj Mittal said CUET has not been made mandatory as of now and AIU says it should remain voluntary for universities or colleges wanting to opt for the new system.
“In our opinion, this is a good system. It was introduced to reduce the problems of the students, who will now appear in only one exam that is CUET. But I have heard that the Government of India has recently said that it is optional for a university.” ,” He said.
Mittal acknowledged the opposition to the new system for studying degree courses in the Northeast despite a large number of institutes across the country appearing for CUET.
Altogether 206 universities, including 44 central and 33 state universities, have opted for CUET so far as compared to 90 institutions last year.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had announced in March last year that undergraduate admissions in all central universities would be conducted through a common entrance test and not on the basis of class 12 marks.
The first edition of CUET-UG was conducted in July last year and had some glitches, which led the National Testing Agency to cancel the exam at several centres. While many students were informed about the cancellation a night before the exams, many of them were turned away from the centres.
Mittal said the three-day National Conference of Vice-Chancellors on ‘Transformative Higher Education for Self-reliant India’ would begin at the University of Science and Technology Meghalaya (USTM) here from Thursday.
Around 600 vice-chancellors, including those from foreign universities, are expected to participate in the conference, which will be inaugurated by former President Ram Nath Kovind.
AIU’s 97th Annual General Meeting and its 97th Foundation Day Lecture, which will be delivered by Padma Shri awardee and Chairman of the Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Bibek Debroy, will take place during the event.
“VCs of universities like JNU, IGNOU, Symbiosis International, University of Massachusetts, Bharati Vidyapeeth, University of Hyderabad and directors of IITs, IISc, AICTE, NAAC, ICAR, ACU and IIITs will attend this mega conference.” Mittal said.
Speaking on the occasion Gauri Dutt Sharma, Vice-Chancellor, USTM said that this is the first time in the North East that a private university is organizing such a large conference with the participation of domestic and international academicians and policy makers.
“The transformation of the education system will be discussed in detail during the conference. It assumes special significance as India aims to become a world leader in every field by 2047,” he said.