by: Prabha Dhavala
MHRD Considering Single Engineering Common Entrance Test like NEET from 2018In what may be a good sign for all engineering aspirants of the country, the MHRD is considering a single common entrance test for Engineering on the lines of NEET. According to reports, the MHRD under Mr. Prakash Javadekar has held a series of meetings with the officials of the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) to delve in to the feasibility of such an exam. Sources at the AICTE have also confirmed that the meetings were held and that the MHRD is seriously considering this move to bring relief to scores of students who have to prepare for many engineering entrance exams to ensure a good seat.
The proposal aims to look into the feasibility and modalities such that it can be enforced under the aegis of the AICTE from 2018. The move is expected to be welcomed by all students who can concentrate on their Class XII as well as the single entrance and avoid stress on preparing for the many entrance tests.
This move comes on the heels of the NEET exam – the single entrance exam for medical admissions in the country which had the blessings of the Supreme Court and is being enforced since 2016.
Earlier in January 2016, there were reports of a single National Aptitude Test that was proposed by the Ashok Mishra committee such that all engineering admissions would be on the basis of the NAT which was to be held four times a year. Thereafter there was no news on that front. However the IIT council in its 50th meeting held on August 23, 2016 did mention the following
Item No. 50.17: “National Aptitude Test. The council examined the proposal for NAT designed to test the engineering aptitude of students of class 11 and 12 and decided to run this test on a pilot basis on a voluntary mode for allowing the students to test the aptitude themselves. The modalities for designing the test may be worked out by the Chairperson of the SCIC, Prof. Ashok Misra.”
The ministry is working on the finer details of this proposal with AICTE and plans to introduce it from 2018. It is however unclear at this moment whether the IITs and NITs will come on board with this proposal. The ministry also expects strong opposition from the various private universities and institutes but is confident of the support of the students, parents and law as was seen for NEET 2016 exam this year.
This is not the first time the ministry has attempted to look into a single entrance exam. In 2012 under former HRD minister Kapil Sibal, the proposal was put forth but was strongly opposed by the IITs who refused to take part in the exercise.
If this proposal sees the day and is enforced from 2018 as intended, it will herald a new change in the engineering admissions of the country. The biggest benefit of this will be to the engineering aspirants who can concentrate well on their Class XII studies and prepare for a single engineering entrance with a little less stress.