UGC: Common test for entrance to postgraduate courses too, but not must

THE UNIVERSITY Grants Commission (UGC) announced Thursday that a common entrance test will be held for admission to postgraduate programmes in 42 central universities from the upcoming academic year.

The two-hour-long entrance test will be held in the last week of July, UGC chairperson Prof M Jagadesh Kumar said, as he launched the application window for the test which will be anchored by the National Testing Agency (NTA).

Till the 2021-22 academic session, only 14 central universities, which came up in 2009, used CUET to admit students in PG courses. While 42 universities have now decided to adopt the common test, it has not been made mandatory.

“CUET-PG is introduced for the first time in the university system and is expected to provide a single window opportunity to the students to apply to different universities. Although not mandatory, most central universities will participate in CUET,” Kumar said.

As per the All India Higher Education Survey 2019-20, the size of India’s PG cohort is significantly smaller compared to students enrolled at the UG level. Of the 3.8 crore students pursuing higher education, 3.06 crore were enrolled at the UG level in 2019-20, while 43.1 lakh students were in post-graduation courses.

The UGC had earlier made it compulsory for 46 central universities to adopt the CUET, a key recommendation of the National Education Policy-2020, for admission to undergraduate courses from the new academic year. Accordingly, a registration window was opened, which closes on May 22. Apart from the central universities, 12 state universities, 11 deemed universities and 19 private universities have decided to adopt the CUET at the UG level.

The CUET for PG courses will also be computer-based, held in two shifts, and multiple languages. Applications for the test will be accepted till June 18.


In line with NEP

The decision to expand CUET to include PG courses is part of the Centre’s push to implement the National Education Policy-2020 in higher education.

The NTA has not released the other modalities for the test. “Programme details will be available on websites of participating central universities & other universities. Online application forms for postgraduate programmes will open from 19.05.2022, the link for the same will be made available on the official website,” Kumar tweeted.

However, it is learnt that the test will have multiple choice questions on subjects chosen by the candidates whose quantitative ability, logical reasoning, general knowledge and language skills will also be assessed.

When contacted, a spokesperson of the Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) said the university’s academic council has not taken a call on adopting CUET for PG admissions. Jamia Millia Islamia University PRO Ahmed Azeem said admissions to PG courses will be based on the university’s own entrance test.

The Mahatma Gandhi Antarrashtriya Hindi Vishwavidyalaya in Wardha, Maharashtra, is among the central universities that have opted for CUET-PG. “We will have a pool of candidates from across different parts of the country. Many may not know about this university. Through the centralised process, the varsity will have a larger platform,” said Dr Chandrakant Ragit, Pro-Vice Chancellor at the university.

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