Plan for common engg entrance exam put on hold
The Human Resources Ministry (HRD) on Friday accepted Bengal's government objections of holding national level common entrance examination in engineering from 2018 and issued a communiqué putting the proposal on hold.
The HRD ministry said the decision would be taken only after a consensus is arrived at on the issue.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the regulator for technical education in the country, had announced in March that a national-level common entrance examination for engineering colleges would be conducted from the next academic year in 2018.
There were strong objections from Bengal and Tamil Nadu and the HRD ministry felt that the states had to be first taken on board.
"It is important to have consensus on the introduction of a common exam. So the plan has been put on hold for now," an official said.
"The common counselling provisions also need to be discussed with the states," the official said, referring to a move to introduce uniform counselling methods across India. Taking a cue from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental colleges introduced last year, the HRD Ministry had initiated the move for a common test for admission to engineering courses.
The Central Board of Secondary Education conducts the Joint Entrance Examination-Mains for admission to engineering courses.
Over 11 lakh students appear for the exam every year.
A number of states conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admission based on marks. Several private colleges also have their own entrance examinations. There are over 3,300 approved engineering colleges in the country affiliated to universities, with an annual enrolment of around 16 lakh students.