With speculation and confusion over the medical entrance exam NEET, it is uncertain as to how and when the single entrance exam for engineering will be introduced by the HRD ministry in the country.
The proceedings of the NEET exam, the smoothness with which it is conducted, will determine the likelihood of the single engineering entrance exam being implemented.
A meeting which took place on Monday, 3rd July, centered around the experience of NEET and was conducted in the presence of the health ministry officials. The agenda of the meeting covered aspects to check if the corruption component has been reduced and the seats are allocated on the basis of merit only or not. These factors will help cater to the loopholes while introducing the engineering entrance exam in a similar way.
As per the reports, the HRD Ministry officials stated that the health ministry highlighted the following aspects:
- NEET - the single entrance exam has not only ensured that the medical aspirant maintains a minimum academic record but also performs well in the entrance test.
- The top 50 percentile candidates were only eligible for admission to medical colleges based on their ranks.
- Management quota seats are being filled through the state level counselling process which is currently being conducted. The process does not allow 'selling' of seats.
- Candidates from all over the country only have to appear for one test instead of multiple ones that not only relieves the stress of giving multiple examinations but also saves on the additional examination fees and travelling fee that they had to shell out as per the earlier process.
After receiving inputs on the NEET exam, the HRD Ministry will now deliberate and hold discussions in order to judge the feasibility of conducting a similar single engineering entrance exam for admissions to B.Tech and B.E. courses all over the country. AICTE, which is the prime authority for concerns related to technical education, had already passed a proposal that emphasised on the introduction of such an exam from the year 2018. States of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu had opposed it, however.
At present, CBSE conducts JEE Mains for engineering admissions. The admission to IITs is based on JEE Advanced conducted by an IIT (generally on a rotational basis). Some colleges and universities also conduct their own entrance test while some grant admissions based on class 12th marks only. Hence, there is no uniformity in the process, at large. Close to 16 lakh students sit for engineering entrance exams every year.