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Common University Entrance Test (CUET)


Common University Entrance Test (CUET)

  • It is an all-India examination conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA) for students seeking admission to different program of participating Central Universities.
  • One Nation, One Standard: It provides a single-window opportunity for the students to get admission to these participating Universities across the country.
  • Common University Entrance Test (CUET) Objectives:
    • To give an equal and fair opportunity to all students in the admissions process to India’s best universities and colleges
    • To make the admission process more transparent and uniform, across students from different boards, which often have different curriculums and evaluation methods.
    • To eliminate the need for students to appear for different entrance exams for different universities.
    • To ease the examination stress on students, making the admission process hassle-free, encouraging them to understand concepts instead of rote learning that many boards seem to promote.
  • Mechanism
    • Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores, and not Class 12 scores, will be mandatory for admission to 45 central universities and the varsities can fix their minimum eligibility criteria.
    • For skill-based courses having major practical components, including music, painting, sculpture and theatre, universities will be allowed to conduct practical exams or interviews along with Common University Entrance Test (CUET).
    • The computer-based test was conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA)
    • Common University Entrance Test (CUET) will be conducted in 13 languages: English, Hindi, Gujarati, Assamese, Bengali, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu.
    • International students will continue to be admitted as per the existing practice the universities have on supernumerary basis.
    • There will not be any centralised counselling for undergraduate admissions and universities will be allowed to conduct their own counselling, if needed.
Common University Entrance Test
Common University Entrance Test


Common University Entrance Test (CUET): What are the Concerns w.r.t.

  • Not Easing: About 20,000 of the 1.49 million students who appeared for the exam have scored 100 percentile across 30 subjects.
    • Thus, Common University Entrance Test (CUET)creates an enormous challenge before colleges in selecting students.
  • Burdened Students: CUET made the admissions process more complex, as students still have to score well in the boards.
    • Performance in the 10 and 12 boards is still given weightage by many top colleges, in India and globally.
    • It may spawn a private coaching or tutorial ecosystem in India.
  • Poor Infrastructure of School: Many of the existing academic institutions in India struggle to offer quality pedagogy and infrastructure to students.
  • Not All University Onboard: Common University Entrance Test (CUET)score is not considered for admission to Kerala colleges under Mahatma Gandhi University, Calicut University and Kannur University.
    • Colleges under these universities follow an admission process based on marks in qualifying exams and allotment is done through a single window online system.


National Testing Agency (NTA)

  • It was established as a Society registered under the Indian Societies Registration Act, 1860.
  • It is an autonomous and self-sustained testing organization to conduct entrance examinations for admission/fellowship in higher educational institutions.
  • Objectives: To conduct efficient, transparent and international standards tests in order to assess the competency of candidates for admission and recruitment purposes.


Way Forward

  • Quality then Quantity: India needs more quality universities and colleges.
    • India has about 800 universities and 39, 700 colleges, which need to focus more on education and its delivery.
  • Role of Private Sector: To invest more in infrastructure and expand higher education, along-with Centre and the state governments can’t do it alone. It needs the involvement of the private sector.


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