The Maharashtra State Board of Secondary and Higher Secondary Education (MSBSHSE) had earlier informed that the optional Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to Class 11 First Year Junior College (FYJC) will be conducted offline on August 21, 2021.
As no external examination was held for Std 10th this year due to the coronavirus pandemic, a CET will be held on August 21 for students from all the boards for admission to the first year of junior college.
Recently, a division bench of the Bombay High Court was hearing a petition by ICSE student Ananya Patki, challenging a May 28 government resolution which said the CET will be based solely on the SSC (Secondary School Certificate) board's syllabus.
The bench said that the ICSE, CBSE and IGCSE education boards can submit question banks to the Maharashtra state board so that it can set a single paper for a Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to Std 11th.
Advocate General Ashutosh Kumbhakoni, appearing for the state government, opposed the petition and said if the CET was cancelled, it would affect the rights of lakhs of students."Over ten lakh students have already registered for the CET," he said.
CET paper pattern
The state government has requested other boards to submit question banks of 200 sample questions each, to be fine-tuned and included in the CET.
The CET would have seven groups of questions of 25 marks each. Questions in four groups would be based on the SSC board syllabus for maths, science, social sciences and English, while three groups would comprise questions from the other boards.
Students can attempt questions from any four of these seven groups.
No unanimity among boards
The AG informed the court that over 10 lakh students from the SSC board have registered to take the CET as a few thousand students from the other boards.
The HC was informed that the additional chief secretary (school education) had a meeting with officials of other boards. The CBSE board has no objection to CET on SSC syllabus and IGCSE has said it has no team in India, said Kumbhkoni. The ICSE board did not represent itself in court.
Stating that there was no unanimity, Kumbhkoni said that if there would be further delay, the admission process will finish in October and the academic year will commence.
What is the way forward?
Emphasizing on the need for a CET, Kumbhkoni said that every board had evaluated its student for promotion on its own methodology whereas in CET, common questions would be asked.
Senior advocate Mihir Desai, who appeared for IGCSE students, said that their schools had physical exams and the board examined the papers and sent marks. He questioned: “What equality is going to be achieved in respect of subjects not studied.”
Observing that the other boards were not supporting the CET, the HC has kept the matter for final hearing on August 6.
(With inputs from agencies and Urvi Mahajani)