With the government’s decision to bring back entrance tests with Maharashtra state board syllabus for engineering colleges, the demand for integrated courses — most combining board exams with joint entrance examination (JEE) — is likely to dip, claim experts.
Maharashtra education minister Vinod Tawde had announced there will be a state-level common entrance test (MH-CET) for admissions to engineering institutes from the next academic year. The test, which was last held in 2013-14, is scheduled to be held in May 2016.
For the past two years, only scores of JEE-Mains were considered for admissions to engineering colleges in the state.
From next year, only those keen on seeking admission to national-level engineering institutes will have to give that exam. The minister had said the objective was to reduce the pressure which two exams bring.
Academicians feel the decision will impact the integrated courses.
“If the CET is based on the same pattern that was followed in the past, it will be similar to the board exam, except for multiple-choice questions. So only those who want to take the JEE may opt for integrated courses,” said Kavita Rege, principal, Sathaye College, Vile Parle.
Some, however, beg to differ. “Integrated courses will be an add-on for students, if they are preparing for CET and JEE. It will save them commuting time,” said Kawal Gupta, manager of a coaching institute preparing students for JEE.
It will also lead to a rise in the number of engineering aspirants.
“CET is easier than JEE, so more students want to appear for it. The numbers of seats for engineering courses is more in Maharashtra, so students will need to score high to make it to reputable colleges,” said Pravin Tyagi, head of a coaching institute.