HRD ministry puts plan for common engineering entrance exam on hold
The HRD Ministry has put on hold a plan for holding a single entrance test for admission to engineering courses across the country till a consensus is reached with the states over certain issues.
The All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE), the country's technical education regulator, had last month passed a regulation to hold a national-level common engineering entrance exam from the next academic year, amid opposition from representatives of governments of West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
However, it has been put on hold for now to develop a consensus among the states.
"It is important to have a consensus on the introduction of a common exam. Hence, the plan has been put on hold for now as without a consensus with the states, the purpose of having a common engineering entrance exam will not be served," a source said.
"The possibility of common counselling provisions also needs to be discussed with the states," the source added.
However, it is not clear whether the process will delay the implementation of the plan in 2018. "The consultation may not necessarily delay the execution of the plan. The plan has not been scrapped, it is very much there. As soon as a consensus is built, modalities will be worked out," the source said.
Taking a cue from the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental colleges introduced last year, the HRD Ministry had initiated steps for a common test for admission to engineering courses.
The CBSE conducts JEE-Mains exam for admission to engineering courses. Over 11 lakh students appear for it every year.
A number of states conduct their own tests, while some colleges grant admission based on marks of the Class XII board exams. 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 intake of around 16 lakh students.