Founder of Ashoka University Vineet Gupta shares his thoughts on One Nation One Test

UGC plans to merge JEE and NEET with CUET (UG) from the next academic year and intends to form a committee by the end of the month to examine ways and processes to implement this transition. “The introduction of a common test is very much an implication of the New Education Policy, 2020 as one test aims to make life easier for students who have to write multiple tests currently and studying the same subjects in the process. Organizing just one-test helps students save themselves from the hassle of preparing for multiple exams and concentrate fully on the one test. Many developed countries worldwide have done this”, adds Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.

The importance of implementing the idea

For better or worse, millions of students have been writing JEE or NEET exams for admission to engineering or medical schools. Infact the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) which started this year was introduced for the first time in 2010 as CUCET (Central Universities Common Entrance Test).

UGC has made it clear that the syllabus for CUET will be based entirely on NCERT, and students should have no problem attempting an expanded CUET once they have prepared for their boards. In other words, merging the JEE, NEET, and CUET exams sounds great on paper. However, given how the NTA struggled to conduct the phase II CUET UG exams this year due to technical snags at various centres, many students are not confident that the NTA is prepared to take on the pressure of merging these three exams together smoothly.

According to a Times Now survey, around 70% of students believe merger will be a bad thing. NTA (National Testing Agency) was aware of what happened earlier in August at various test centers across the country and quickly fixed the issues. Moving forward, the NTA plans to start their own examination centers, which can be used for examinations and converted into training centers when not in use.

UGC is hedging its bets and not overcommitting. “It is good to see that the UGC is placing a committee in place to evaluate the feasibility of this merger and taking input from various industry stakeholders before arriving at a decision. This will ensure nothing comes as a rude shock for students and other stakeholders that make up the ecosystem and everyone will have enough time in their hands to prepare for the exam. I also welcome the UGC’s suggestion to conduct the CUET-UG multiple times a year so that students get another attempt at the test instead of waiting a full year to reappear for the same”, said Vineet Gupta Ashoka University Founder.

The UGC and NTA should work together to diffuse any concerns and ensure the best possible outcome can be reached, keeping students’ welfare in mind, during the implementation of this merger. Having merged entrance tests, the next step would be to combine accreditation and ranking bodies into one, which would implement the New Education Policy 2020’s changes.

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