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UGC panel for exam reform rules out ability test for graduates

The UGC committee on exam reform suggested that 75% of internal assessment should be used in conjunction with 25% of external assessment, as it would counter negligence and carelessness by external examiners.

education Updated: Sep 21, 2018 00:04 IST
Neelam Pandey
Neelam Pandey
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
UGC,exam reform,graduate
The UGC held a consultative meeting on September 6 with the expert committee and representatives from over 60 universities/institutes,.(File Photo)

An expert committee on exam reform, constituted by the University Grants Commission (UGC), has suggested that 75% of internal assessment should be used in conjunction with 25% of external assessment, as it would counter negligence and carelessness by external examiners while evaluating answer sheets and avoid delays in the exam system.

The committee has ruled out an ability test for graduates, saying it would lead to disinterest among students preparing for the proposed test. It says such a trend is visible among students preparing for the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE), National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET) and Common Admission Test (CAT) and aspiring for admission into premium institutions. However, it has suggested “clustering of streams” for post-graduation based on commonality of various courses.

The UGC held a consultative meeting on September 6 with the expert committee and representatives from over 60 universities/institutes, including Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Jamia Millia Islamia, Tata Institute of Social Sciences, University of Kashmir and IGNOU, among others, to take their views on the recommendations. “It is a good idea to have overarching guidelines in place in terms of exam reform. But universities should be allowed to use that and devise their own mechanism as every institute is different,” said SS Mantha, former chairman of the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) and academician.

The UGC had formed a committee in June to recommend measures for exam reform for universities. After several meetings, it released a discussion paper for further consultation and also asked stakeholders, including teachers, students and universities, to send feedback.

“Alternatively, clustering of streams for post-graduation is proposed. This may require identification of commonality amongst various PG courses followed by homogeneous categorisation of streams. A few representative streams can be Arts, Commerce, Social Sciences, Science and Engineering,” the report said.

The panel suggested that candidates wishing to take admission in the Arts stream will take the all-India level test and be allotted a college based on merit. “All the universities having Arts stream will recognise this test and will be instrumental only in conducting counselling and registering of candidates. Further, in such a system, a framework can be devised where all institutions can be grouped together and act as a body responsible for conducting exams and admitting candidates of that stream. This will enhance transparency and the candidates will be saved from giving diverse examinations all over India in the hunt for a good college. Also, the complexities arising out of diversity in marks and plethora of entrance examinations and their marking pattern can be minimised.”

Emphasising continuous and comprehensive evaluation, the committee said various models had been used by universities in this regard. “However, we propose that 75% of internal assessment should be used in conjunction with 25% of external assessment,” said the paper on exam reform, a copy of which is with HT. It has suggested following a grading system in which a student obtaining Grade F would be considered failed. For non-credit courses, ‘Satisfactory’ or “Unsatisfactory’ has been proposed.

First Published: Sep 20, 2018 23:43 IST