Like the central and several other universities across the country that screen candidates before admitting them, students seeking admission to one of the post-graduation (PG) programmes at the University of Mumbai might have to appear for an entrance examination.
A draft of the new Choice Based Credit System (CBCS), which will be implemented in all the PG courses at the university from the coming academic year, suggests that PG departments with an intake capacity of more than 30 students conduct an entrance examination. The admissions are likely to be granted based on an equal weightage to the results of the final degree examination and the entrance examination score.
The move is aimed at a higher level of competency among the students. The entrance examination is also expected to create a “brand value” for the varsity, while attracting students from other universities to MU.
“The entrance examination will ensure that the applicants pose a certain minimal competency. It will also serve as a common standard for the students from various universities applying in MU,” said Neeraj Hatekar, director, department of economics.
The varsity will fix a cut-off score for entry in the PG programmes. While the academic council has approved the recommendation, a final nod is yet to be given by the university’s Board of Studies.
Sudha Mohan, a professor at the civics and politics department, suggested that the entrance exam will help determine if the applicant has the necessary aptitude and interest for a particular course. “Many students who apply for a course are not suited for it, although they might be good at something else. Others pursue master’s programme just to gain some credibility and prestige,” she said.
However, some believe that the entrance exams are not needed at present, as the marks from the bachelor examination serve as an admission criteria.
“There is no point conducting entrance tests, because nobody can evaluate a student through a couple of questions,” said Minu Madlani, principal, KPB Hinduja College at Charni Road.
The draft has also recommended that the varsity departments start two online courses, especially for the benefit of the students who are not part of any formal programme of the department. The online courses, while seeking to expand higher education opportunities, will allow students to study subjects outside their discipline.
“With the development of technology and the young generation becoming increasingly tech savy, providing one or two courses online is a welcome step. Moreover, it provides a large variety of courses, which are not accessible to learners from other sources,” said Madhu Nair, former dean of commerce at the university.