ONLINE CUET: Not pulling the plug yet, says UGC

ONLINE CUET: Not pulling the plug yet, says UGC

It was also asked why the UGC was not considering to conduct CUET on OMR sheet instead of computer-based exam.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Tuesday, January 17, 2023, 10:00 AM IST
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Indore (Madhya Pradesh): As the maiden Common University Entrance Test (CUET) was marred by glitches, the University Grants Commission chairman, professor Mamidala Jagadesh Kumar, here on Monday said they were giving the online exam one final chance to succeed.

“Since we had already started CUET on the online mode, this year, too, we will go with the same mode. But if we still face issues (with the online CUET), we will look at other options,” he said, replying to a query during an interaction with VCs and directors of different institutions at NSIL-2023 which started at DAVV on Monday.

It was also asked why the UGC was not considering to conduct CUET on OMR sheet instead of computer-based exam.

The UGC stated that the OMR sheet-based exam could also be a good option but this year they were opting with online CUET.

“The CUET was taken up for the first time, last year. There were some logistic issues, computer glitches and internet dis-connectivity among others. That’s the reason why this year, we started working much earlier. We have already announced the exam schedule so that the students know in advance when the exams will take place. We require around 500 centres for CUET, but this year, we have identified 1,000 centres so even if there is a failure at the last moment, we will have additional standby centres,” he said.

STARTING CUET…

Giving the reason for starting CUET, Kumar said, “The philosophy of the CUET is to provide level playing ground to students so that they have access to some of the best universities in the country irrespective of whichever board they are passing out from because there is lot of disparity in the way marks are awarded by different boards.”

Replying to another question, the UGC chairman said the UGC is going to bring a module shortly for training of teachers.

Excerpts…

Q: Multi-disciplinary system is good but permissions are required from multiple councils.

A: Draft of the higher education commission of India is in the making. Once the commission is made, a single window system will be created for all permissions. Barring the Medical Council of India and Bar Council of India, all councils will come under the commission.

Q: Why 7.5 CGPA bar for four-year UG course with research degree?

A: That’s a minimum eligibility specified by the UGC to universities. UGC fixes minimum standards only. The right to raise the bar rests with the university. Universities which find that competition easy, can raise the bar to 8.5 or whichever they find suitable.

Q: We find some discrepancies in NEP when we look at dual degree courses with exit options.

A: Send a mail to us highlighting the discrepancies, if found, the same can be removed or addressed.

Question: Teacher education colleges are complying with land norms of NCTE. When asked to offer multi-disciplinary courses, the requirement of land will change as per UGC norms. This issue should be addressed.

A: Taken your question as a suggestion as we both are on the same page on this issue.

Q: NEP talks about blended mode of learning with 40% online learning? Why not allow institutes to reduce 40% teachers then?

A: In the time spared due to the blended mode of learning, we want teachers to get involved in research activities so that the student-teacher ratio will remain the same.

PhD may not be must for appointment to asst prof post

This may come as big news to many NET qualified candidates who are not holding doctoral degrees. UGC may withdraw the mandatory condition of PhD for appointment to assistant professor’s post. The UGC chairman told reporters that discussions are on. “I don’t think a PhD is mandatory to become a good teacher. UGC had announced that it would make PhD mandatory from 2021 but it postponed the decision later. We, at the UGC, are discussing why PhD should be made mandatory at the assistant professor level. Why simply NET qualified candidates can’t be appointed as assistant professors? I believe that a PhD should be a must when an assistant professor is promoted to the level of an  associate professor as we want our teachers to do good research too,” he said.

MoUs WITH FOREIGN VARSITIES

To a query on MoUs with foreign varsities on dual degree programmes, Jagadesh Kumar said that around 50 Indian universities are in talks with foreign universities for MoUs. “Two to three have completed the process as well,” he added. He stated that students from not so affluent families can go abroad for a semester or two if their universities ink MoUs with foreign universities. The universities which are eligible for such MoUs should go for it, he added. 

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