Students applying for admission to post-graduate courses this year will not have to take the Common Entrance Test (CET) after the exam - due to make its debut in June this year - was postponed by a year citing infrastructure problems. However, universities have been instructed to reserve 40% of its seats for students from other universities.
Additional secretary of the department of higher education Madhumita Ray released an order in this regard on Thursday. Universities have been to develop the required in frastructure to conduct the test next year.
Explaining why CET has been pushed back to 2014, professor Sugata Marjit chairman on West Bengal State Council of Higher Education (WBSCHE) said, “It is true that we aimed to start CET for admission to all postgraduate courses at all state-universities from 2013. However, after discussions with various stakeholders we found that we had been over enthusiastic.”
“We found that to conduct this centralised exam we will have to arrange for 600 exam centres for about 2.5 lakh candidates, which will be impossible to arrange this year. However, from the 2013 academic session, all state universities will follow a common academic calendar, which will help implement the CET in 2014,” Marjit added.
“There is no doubt that in principal it has been agreed that CET would be the mode of admission to state aided universities for every graduate student,” he said.
The council, which is in charge of the implementation of CET, feels that deferring the exam by a year is a disguised gift. “We received several suggestions on how universities can personalise their intake based on CET. While some would give equal weight to the CET, academic record and a personal interview, others have different ideas. A year’s time will allow all universities to decide how they can personalise their intake based on CET,” Marjit added.
While universities and students are relieved by the postponement, like last year, universities will have to reserve 40% seats for other university students, a move that many are not comfortable with.
Jadavpur University avoided the reservations last year by stating that their admission process had already started before the government order came out. However, in 2013, they would have no such way out.
“We are yet to get the order. Once we receive it, we will discuss the matter in our next executive council meeting and take a decision,” said Siddhartha Dutta, pro vice chancellor of JU.
“Last year JU was exempted because their admission process began before the order was passed. This year, the order has come out very early and all the universities are amended and provisions have been made to ensure that it becomes mandatory for them to follow these regulations,” Marjit said.