Section of JNU faculty, students oppose CUET

Published on Sep 16, 2022 03:02 PM IST

Many faculty members say the one-size-fits-all approach CUET espouses is unsuited for a university like JNU offering a number of unique interdisciplinary programmes

JNUTA this week stepped up its criticism of CUET. (PTI)
JNUTA this week stepped up its criticism of CUET. (PTI)
BySadia Akhtar

A section of the faculty and students have expressed concerns over Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU)’s move to opt for the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admitting students, saying the multiple choice questions (MCQ)-based exam is insufficient to assess applicants seeking admission for a range of programmes.

Many faculty members say the one-size-fits-all approach CUET espouses is unsuited for a university like JNU offering a number of unique interdisciplinary programmes.

The JNU Students’ Union (JNUSU) has also opposed the implementation of CUET. JNU vice-chancellor Santishree Dhulipudi Pandit too has said MCQ-based exams were unsuitable for granting admission at the postgraduate level for social sciences, humanities, and languages which require a qualitative assessment as well.

Her comments drew flak from a section of teachers at JNU, who construed her criticism as an attempt to undermine the New Education Policy. Pandit insisted she simply raised a point of academic discussion.

The Jawaharlal Nehru University Teachers’ Association (JNUTA), which is an elected body, this week also stepped up its criticism of the CUET and called opting out of it necessary to streamline teaching-learning. It said universities across the world were not admitting candidates for research on the bases of MCQ-based exams.

“JNU’s reputation, both nationally and internationally, has been built on the rigour of its student selection procedures as much as the research produced by its students and faculty. The exclusive use of MCQs for admissions is not an academically valid practice in JNU faculty’s estimation. It is also not an accepted practice internationally,” JNUTA said in a statement on Monday.

JNUSU insisted that a CUET-based approach would be detrimental to JNU, which offers unique programmes and courses. It added the varsity will lose autonomy over the setting of question papers due to CUET and discrepancies in question papers and delay in the declaration of results will continue to mar the exams.

“In addition to losing autonomy (over the setting of question papers, declaration of results) and lacking transparency (indicating pass/fail instead of displaying the student’s grade), the proposed CUET with a centralized institutional setup, makes (any) redressal an elaborated procedure, further pushing aspirants belonging to the marginalized communities to deeper margins,” said JNUSU in a statement.

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