Understanding the idea of CUET The downside of it all
A level playing field. This is one point that may be read in the move to introduce the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) at the Under Graduate, Post Graduate, Diploma, Certification courses and Research Programmes in 45 Central Universities of India. To be conducted by the National Testing Agency, the CUET is also accepted by a number of other State Universities and Deemed Universities across the country. Test the merit of a student seeking admission at the UG courses after the Class XII level through an all India level examination and here one can definitely read an attempt being made to deal with the outrageous cut off marks announced year after year by some of the more sought after universities such as Delhi University. With Delhi University having accepted the CUET model, one will hopefully not hear of the outrageous cut off marks set by different colleges for admission at the undergraduate level for situation had come to such a pass that it was well nigh not possible for a student with a credible score of 75 percent or even 80 percent to get into the college of her choice or pursue further studies at her chosen subject in the said university. And significantly not all board/council follow the same marking pattern with the result that some boards/councils are understood to be more liberal in awarding marks to the students while some boards/councils are understood to be extremely stingy while awarding marks. Naturally this meant that it was not always the brightest who get into some of the better known colleges at the said university. The same may be the case with other universities, but as thousands of students from Manipur make their way to Delhi for their higher studies each year, it is Delhi University which occupies prime space as far as cut off marks are concerned. The media too has been giving more space to the huge rush for admission to the colleges affiliated to Delhi University each year and it is only right that the Government has done something concrete to present a level playing field for all the students seeking further studies. A level playing field-this is one of the primary objectives for the introduction of CUET and this falls in line with the belief that not everything should depend on the marks one scores at the Class XII examination. This also falls in line with the New Education Policy announced by the Modi Government with so much fanfare some time back.
However as things have transpired, there can always be a downside to what is good and it is this point which should not be missed in the demand raised by some student organisations to take another look at the CUET exam centres allotted to the students. This is true specifically for students whose primary objective is to continue their further studies at Manipur University, and it defeats all purpose to allot them exam centres based outside the State. As the student bodies have pointed out, many of the students do not come from well off families and expecting them to expend a few thousand rupees to appear for the exam, just because they have been allotted examination centre, say based at Guwahati, defies logic and defeats the purpose of the New Education Policy. Good point the student bodies have raised and noteworthy too to note that Manipur University has also decided to conduct its own test for the 2022-23 academic session. The CUET model or mass common admission test for admission to different Central universities is a revolutionary move, no doubt and this will go a long way in addressing the outrageous cut off marks dished out by different colleges under different universities such as Delhi University, some of the better known colleges under Calcutta University, Madras University, Punjab University etc. This is a positive move and will go a long way in presenting a level playing field to students coming from different boards/councils for admission to higher studies, but at the same time extra care should also be taken to ensure that parents and students are not burdened by the random act of choosing the exam centres for them. Give the choice of exam centres to the students.