While the Central Government has proposed to stage a common entrance test i.e., CUCET for admission to central universities from the upcoming academic years, the first signs of dissent against the proposal have started to surface. The biggest topic of debate at the moment surrounds DU admission 2021-22.
A class 12 student, in a letter regarding admission to DU admissions, has highlighted some very logical arguments against conducting the proposed Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) this year. The letter draws attention to the following substantial points.
Issues with CUCET based admissions
#1 Those who are seeking admission to UG courses in the current academic year have been suspended in a state of confusion for too far into the session. Many aspirants of Delhi University admissions are not even properly aware of the proposed CUCET 2021 exam. Till now, admission to DU has been done on the basis of merit and DUJAT.
#2 With the board exams cancelled this year, the 12th grader says, till now there is no clear indication of the syllabus, pattern, exam date, mode, duration or anything about the proposed CUCET exam. She argues that taking a national level test of this capacity without sufficient time for preparation will inherently make it tougher for the students.
#3 Earlier held CUCET for admission to the Rajasthan Central University and 14 other Universities exhibited a subject-specific scheme and pattern of the exam. A subject-specific exam scheme will only restrict candidates from getting admission to a UG program of their choice. Certain programs offered by Delhi University are open for students who have not studied the subject before. For example, students of any stream can get admission to B.A Programs of the Delhi University.
#4 The National Education Policy allows students to freely switch streams after Class 12. If CUCET is conducted as subject-specific tests for admission to different UG courses, it will be in direct contraction with the provisions of the NEP.
#5 CUCET as an entrance test will inherently consist of Aptitude questions that candidates from all streams may not have studied at the 10+2 level making it an unfair evaluation process when compared to those who have studied. The argument against this is, that the CUCET paper contains questions on General Knowledge/Current Affairs which are not relevant to students seeking admission in Science subjects.
#6 The letter has also questioned how DU will conduct admission to Foreign Language courses on the basis of CUCET as these admissions are done on the basis of merit till now. Changing the admission criteria within such short notice means that students will be pushed into a disadvantageous position.
#7 With the academic schedule already delayed and no confirmation of the modalities of CUCET, admissions through the exam will lead to further delay and sessions may not start till December/January. Students will face difficulty in finding resources online for CUCET preparations within such a short time.
Proposed Solution & Alternatives for CUCET based admission
#1 The 12th Grader has proposed an alternative way for DU admissions to commence. She has proposed that the University adopt different cut-offs for different boards.
#2 As the majority of DU admissions are of CBSE students, the criteria that CBSE will decide for the cancelled Class 12 board exams this year will impact the DU cut-offs, she has proposed. Subject-specific tests are not feasible compared to cut-off based admissions as those who intend to apply for multiple courses will not be able to do so.
#3 If aptitude tests are included, then they must be modulated to suit candidates of all streams i.e., Science, Commerce & Arts. There is not enough time for preparation for the student to learn new subjects now for the exam.
#4 It may be proposed the subject-specific tests must not be solely based on the course being applied for as it will jeopardize any chances of switching streams after Class 12 for those who intend to do so. Instead, she has proposed that relevant subjects be given weightage e.g. Mathematics questions can be given some weightage in the Economics test.
(This news story is based on the e-letter received from a 12th grader, and quoted with her permission.)