CUET delay: local colleges await students

City Education

CUET has affected admissions in local colleges in Bengaluru due to delay and other inefficiencies.

Bengaluru colleges said that they reported comparatively low admissions this year than last year because students opted to appear in the Common Entrance University Test (CUET) to take admissions to central universities.

Professor Satish from National College said in 2021, 364 students took admissions by August for the first year. Of these, 128 students were admitted in BCA, 120 in B. Com, 50 in BA and 48 in B.Sc. But this year, he said, “till September, there are only 271 admissions and the numbers have reduced to 110 in BCA, 106 in B. Com, 27 in BA and 29 in B.Sc.”

Shilpa, who works in the administration department of Garden City University in Bengaluru, said, “CUET has affected the number of admissions in the college. Last year, till September we had seats full but this year we are still waiting for students to apply. Many students call for an inquiry but don’t take admissions as they are waiting for results and counseling.”

In March 2022, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced CUET for Under Graduate (UG) and Post Graduate (PG) programs in all Central Universities for the academic session 2022-23 under the Ministry of Education (MoE). It was introduced in order to provide a common platform and equal opportunities to candidates across the country.

The test, however, has been running into glitches. Agniv, who passed his Class 12 exams this year and applied for the CUET exams in the hope to get admission to a reputed government university said, “NTA did not work in the favor of students due to its delayed schedule of exams and inadequate technical and network facilities.”

He said that a series of incidents related to technical errors led to the rescheduling of exams. “I had to wait five months for my admit card and when it arrived, I was allotted the examination center that was 15 km away from my house. There were students who travelled for 50-60 km to reach the examination center. Moreover, we had to stop our examination midway because of the cyber shutdown.” He said students could not write enough to get passing marks.

NTA provided a grievance redressal email address where students can mail their grievances regarding subject combination, medium, question paper, etc. Union Grant Commission (UGC) chairman Jagdesh Kumar said that the glitches in the examination “are not setbacks but lessons. They will be ironed out in the near future.”
Students, however, said that their time was being wasted. Agniv said, “It is not about the re-taking of exams, it is about the time that is getting wasted waiting for the exams and results. It is not even confirmed whether I will get into a good university. And if not, then I will have to take admission to a local college where the session has already begun and I will have to catch up on the course.”

Mukta, Agniv’s mother, said, “I am really worried about my son’s future. I have seen my son studying really hard for the entrance exam and such delay and inconveniences in the exam are not helping.”

Rajshri Anand, a teacher at a senior secondary school said, “CUET is not an ideal uniform testing scheme in a diverse country like India. Every state has its own syllabus and exam pattern till higher secondary level. A single entrance test would be unfair to students. Further, students from rural and underprivileged areas who cannot afford private coaching would find it difficult to compete with urban students. A centralized exam keeps the state government out of the admission process and state reservation rules will not apply.” she added.

However, some colleges say CUET did not affect admissions. Admissions’ officer of Seshadripuram College said CUET did not affect admissions but COVID-19 caused low admissions this year. Last year every student passed and the college had 378 admissions. This year the percentage of students who passed has dropped to 58 percent, therefore there are only 290 admissions this year. The total number of candidates registered for the CUET exams is 14,90,293 and the number of candidates who appeared was 9,68,201. The stated objective of the NTA is “to conduct efficient, transparent and international standardized tests in order to assess the competency of candidates for admission.”