Everyone is well aware of the fact that getting admission in an engineering college in India, Government or private, is no piece of cake. As lucrative as this career option is, it comes with its own baggage including the madness of writing and clearing uncountable entrance exams including CET (Common Entrance Test), JEE Mains, JEE Advanced, BITSAT, GATE, VITEEE etc. The multiple entrance exam system not only leads to a lot of anxiety and pressure on the students but also leads to wastage of plenty of time and resources.
To tackle this problem, the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), a statutory body and a national level council for technical education, has decided to introduce a single entrance exam for securing admission in all engineering colleges across the nation from 2018. Once implemented completely, it will do away with the hassle of writing numerous engineering entrances exams over the course of 2-3 months. The HRD Ministry of India has also claimed that introduction of this test, that awaits clearance, will be on similar lines as NEET (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test) that was introduced to end the multiple entrance exam system for aspiring medical students.
While the Government aims to make the system less stressful and more standardized, uniform and transparent through this decision, it was perceived differently by different students who do not want a change midway as most of them have already started their preparation according to the prevailing system of entrances. In the present scenario, the admission of students depends on their performance in entrance examinations conducted by various agencies like the CBSE and various state colleges. Other universities grant admission to students on the basis of marks scored in class 12th. There are yet other institutes that consider marks scored in class 12th along with an individual’s performance in the entrance exams while granting admissions.
Different people have different opinions about the type of criteria that should be adopted all across the nation to not only simplify the admission process but also to make it completely merit-based and student friendly. One can definitely agree that the present system of multiple entrance exams provides a student with numerous opportunities to secure admission in a reputed college and also enables him/her to choose which institutions he/she wants to consider for further studies thereby appearing in only their entrance examinations. However, some people are of the opinion that only the marks scored by a student in class 12th should be considered as is the case with most of the undergraduate courses offered for commerce and humanities. Under the prevailing system, students are expected to prepare for their 12th board exams and several other entrances simultaneously which leads to huge amounts of psychological burden, anxiety and depression among them. Therefore, giving admissions solely on the basis of an individual’s board score will not only reduce the pressure a student faces while preparing for such tests but will also lead to reduction in the time and monetary resources spent on attending various coaching classes required to clear them. However, this criterion strictly limits the chances of students making it to their dream colleges. Moreover, some academicians argue that there are several discrepancies that arise every year when it comes to CBSE board exams and they are not consistent with the state board examinations leading to a huge chaos and small degree of smoothness in the admission process.
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Another set of people believe that it is only fair to consider the 12th class results as well as the performance in the entrance exams. The main argument in favor of this viewpoint is that it will help the examiners and admission committee to determine how consistent a student is making the admission process more comprehensive. On the other hand, it is argued that this will only increase the pressure on the students and may also lead to a poorer performance due to the need to pressure for several exams at once instead of focusing on a single test. Among all this speculation, the proposal to introduce a single Engg. entrance exam seems like the way to go. However it is important that the policy makers weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each available option carefully to ensure that the new policy does not do more harm than good!