New Delhi: M Jagadesh Kumar, chairman of the UGC, announced on Monday that central universities will be required to use Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores to admit students to undergraduate programmes this year.
He said that the CUET would be held in the first week of July.
This means that, aside from the eligibility criteria of individual universities, students' Class 12 board examination results will have no bearing on their admission.
"From the 2022-23 academic year, the National Testing Agency will be conducting the CUET for undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All the central universities will have to consider CUET scores for admissions to their programmes," Kumar said in a press briefing.
There are 45 central universities funded by the University Grants Commission (UGC).
The syllabus of the CUET will be mirrored with the Class 12 model syllabus of the NCERT, Kumar said.
The CUET will have Section 1A, Section 1B, general test and domain-specific subjects. Section 1A, which will be compulsory, will be in 13 languages and candidates can choose the language of their choice.
The options are English, Hindi, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu and Urdu. Section 1B is optional and for students who want to opt for another language apart from the ones that are a part of Section 1A. Some of the languages on offer are French, Arabic, German, etc, he added.
Under the domain-specific subjects, a candidate can choose up to a maximum of six domains that they wish to pursue at the undergraduate level, Kumar said.
There are some universities that have general test as eligible criteria for admission to even domain-specific courses so that is a part of the CUET, he said.
The UGC chairman said the reservation policy of the universities will not be impacted due to the CUET.
"The universities can enroll candidates for the general seats as well as for the reserved seats on the basis of CUET scores. It will not impact the existing admission and reservation policy," he said.
He also said there would not be any centralized counselling after CUET.
The CUET will be held in two shifts. In the first shift, candidates will be able to write one language, two domain-specific papers and the general test. In the second shift, candidates can write the remaining four domain-specific subjects and section 1B, Kumar said.
Talking about the benefits of CUET, he said it will provide equal opportunities to students from across boards, especially to those from the northeast and rural areas.
The CUET is also expected to reduce financial burden on parents and students, as candidates will only have to write one exam.
The state universities, private universities and deemed to be universities can also use CUET scores for admissions if they want, he said.
Coming to postgraduate programmes, Kumar said, that there are many universities that have adopted the CUET while there are some universities that conduct their own exams.
"We hope that all the universities adopt the CUET for postgraduate programmes," he said.