JNU: Academic Council approves proposal for a central entrance test

Jawaharlal Nehru University’s Academic Council on Wednesday approved a proposal to participate in the proposed centralized entrance exams for student admission to undergraduate and postgraduate courses from the upcoming meeting.
The JNU used to organize its own entrance test.

So far, 45 universities have agreed to accept students through the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET) from 2022-23.

Delhi University decided last month to discontinue its merit-based undergraduate programs and admit students through CUCET.

It has not yet been decided whether CUCET should also be accepted at the postgraduate level.

In a media release on Wednesday, the JNU administration announced that the Academic Council had decided that the university would become part of the central entrance examination project. The decision will now be presented to the Executive Board, the highest decision-making body. Sources said his approval was now a purely formality.

According to the proposal of the Ministry of Education, CUCETs will be carried out for Bachelor and Master courses from this year. For admission to PhD programs, the government has proposed that all central universities consider selecting candidates through the National Eligibility Test, which is designed to appoint assistant professors.

The meeting of the Academic Council at which the decision to participate in the CUCET process was made was chaired by Acting Vice Chancellor M. Jagadesh Kumar. A large number of members, including deans of JNU schools, center chairmen and external member organizations, supported the proposal, the media release said.

The JNU teachers’ association has spoken out against the move, citing the “uniqueness” of the institution and the alleged refusal to hear the opinions of faculty and study committees.

“The Honorable Members raised questions about the uniqueness of the university and its respective centers and requested that this matter be discussed first at the center / school level. Unfortunately, however, the Caretaker VC did not give room to their concerns and abruptly muted the loudspeakers. Many faculty members were not even allowed to speak despite their hands raised, ”JNUTA said in a statement.

A DU professor claimed that the decision to join the CUCET process was not discussed in the university’s admissions committee, but was introduced from above. He expressed concern that impoverished students are lost on entrance tests because they do not have access to coaching and English-language education.

“In addition, many students at DU universities change courses after admission, depending on the vacancy. As part of the CUCET, students can take the entrance test in a stream of their choice. After that, your selection is limited to the stream you originally decided on, ”said the professor, preferring anonymity.

Rajen Harshe, former vice-chancellor of Allahabad University, said a joint central university entrance test would be a welcome move as it would save students the hassle of appearing in the plethora of exams run by individual universities.

However, better coordination among university faculty members is key to the program’s success, he said.
Rajeev Kumar, a faculty member at JNU’s School of Computer and System Sciences, said there was no compelling reason to oppose the joint entrance exams.

“The joint entrance tests in the basic and post-graduate courses are carried out on the basis of the curriculum for the aptitude test. Universities, including the JNU, already do this in their separate admission procedures. However, if a university like JNU wants to assess a student’s alignment for their Masters level specialization, they can conduct additional interviews. But there is no reason to oppose the joint admission procedure, ”he said.

Rajeev Kumar said the interview process at universities, including the JNU, is opaque. “If an interview takes place, the process – questioning and evaluation – should be transparent.”

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