Meghalaya: The Association of Indian Universities (AIU) on Wednesday said it prefers the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission to undergraduate programmes to remain an option for colleges and varsities of the country.
Addressing a press conference in Meghalaya, AIU Secretary General Pankaj Mittal said CUET has not been made mandatory yet and AIU's stand is that it should remain voluntary for the universities or colleges willing to opt for the new system.
"In our opinion, it is a good system. This was introduced to ease the problems of students, who will now appear only in one exam that is CUET. But I heard that the Government of India has recently said it is optional for a university," she said. Mittal acknowledged the opposition to the new system for studying degree courses in the Northeast despite a large number of institutions across the nation going for the CUET.
Altogether 206 universities, including 44 central and 33 state varsities, have opted for the CUET so far, up from 90 institutes last year. The University Grants Commission (UGC) in March last year announced that undergraduate admissions would be conducted in all central universities through a common entrance test and not on the basis of Class 12 marks.
The debut edition of the CUET-UG was conducted in July last year and was marred by glitches, prompting the National Testing Agency to cancel the exam at multiple centres. While several students were informed of cancellation a night before the test, many of them were turned away from centres. Mittal said the three-day National Conference of Vice Chancellors on 'Transformative Higher Education for Atmanirbhar Bharat' will begin at the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM) here from Thursday.
Around 600 vice-chancellors, including those from foreign varsities, are likely to take part in the conference, which will be inaugurated by former President Ram Nath Kovind. The 97th Annual General Meet of AIU and its 97th Foundation Day Lecture, to be delivered by Padma Shri awardee and Chairman of Economic Advisory Council to Prime Minister Bibek Debroy, will also take place during the programme.
"A host of VCs from universities like JNU, IGNOU, Symbiosis International, University of Massachusetts, Bharti Vidyapith, University of Hyderabad, and Directors of IITs, IISc, AICTE, NAAC, ICAR, ACU and IIIT will be joining this mega conference," Mittal said. Speaking on the occasion, USTM Vice Chancellor Gauri Dutt Sharma said this is for the first time in the Northeast that a private university is organising such a large conference with participation of domestic and international educationists and policymakers.
"Transformation of the education system will be discussed at length during the conference. This holds special significance because India aims to become a world leader in every field by 2047," he added.
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