Chennai: Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi demanding the immediate withdrawal of the Common Universities Entrance Test (CUET).
In his letter, a copy of which was shared with the media, Stalin pointed out the UGC had recently announced that all admission to Central Universities funded by it would be based on the CUET scores. Further, it has been said the marks CUET marks may also be followed by State Universities, Private and Deemed Universities for their admission process if they opt for so.
“This regressive step has clearly vindicated the consistent stand of our Government, which is based on the consensus across sections in Tamil Nadu that the introduction of NEET for MBBS admissions was not an isolated instance but a definitive prelude to the larger attempt of the Union Government to centralise higher education admissions,” he said.
Stalin felt there is no doubt that the CUET, similar to NEET will side-line the diverse school education systems across the country, grossly undermine the relevance of overall development-oriented long-form learning in schools and make students rely upon coaching centres for improving their entrance examination scores
“I wish to reiterate that any entrance examination that is based on NCERT syllabus will not provide an equal opportunity to all students who have studied in varied State Board syllabi across the country. In most States, State Board syllabus students constitute more than 80% of the total student population and these students invariably hail from the marginalised sections. Hence an NCERT syllabus based entrance examination would place this deserving majority in a disadvantageous position in securing admission in Central Universities. In Tamil Nadu’s context, this is likely to drastically reduce the number of students from our State in various Central Universities and their affiliated colleges,” he said.
The people of Tamil Nadu are apprehensive that like NEET, CUET also will be against the interests of the rural poor and socially marginalised students from the State and will only favour further mushrooming of coaching centres in the domain of admission in humanities also. “Further, we feel that the indirect pressure brought on by the UGC on Non-Central Universities to adopt CUET is likely to make this centralisation process even stronger. This trend would, over a course of time, undermine the State syllabus based school education system by pushing students to opt for costly schools adopting NCERT syllabus,” he added.
“Considering the above issues, we view this step of making CUET mandatory for all Central Universities as yet another undesirable step in the current trend of the Union Government trying to sideline both the roles of State Governments as well as the significance of school education system in the process of admission to higher educational institutions. Therefore, I strongly urge you to withdraw this step immediately,” Stalin said.