From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : CUET
Mains level : Paper 2- CUET and related issues
UGC introduced the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admissions in undergraduate courses in 45 central universities in the country.
Benefits of Common University Entrance Test (CUET)
- Deals with the issue of uneven quality of different boards: In a country like ours, because of the uneven quality of different school boards, there is a huge trust deficit and suspicion about the academic quality of even the “toppers”.
- Eliminate the need for multiple exams: Furthermore, this centralised test would free the tension-ridden youngsters from the pressure of writing multiple entrance tests in different colleges/universities.
- Eliminate the inflated cut-off: Likewise, the supremacy of the CUET score/ranking in the selection process would invariably eliminate inflated cut-offs for admissions in “branded” colleges.
- It would avoid subjective biases, cherish objectivity, and quantify and measure one’s mental aptitude and domain knowledge in a specific discipline.
Issues with the CUET
- 1] Impact on true learning: the dominant structure of education prevalent in the country is essentially book-centric and exam-oriented.
- Either rote learning or strategic learning (a gift of coaching centres) is its essence; and far from learning and unlearning with joy, wonder and creativity, young students become strategists or exam-warriors.
- In the coming years, schools are going to lose their relevance as students and parents are likely to rely primarily on gigantic coaching centres and fancy Ed Tech companies.
- 2] No scope for subjective interpretation: The MCQ-centric “objective” tests diminishes what every genuine learner needs — creative exploration, interpretative understanding and self-reflexivity.
- In the name of “objective” tests, our students are deprived of the hermeneutic art of interpretation and skill of argumentation and compelled to reduce everything into an “objective” fact, we would do great damage to their creativity.
For real transformation, we have to see beyond the CUET, work on the quality of schools and creatively nuanced life-affirming pedagogy; and we must think of honest and fair recruitment of spirited teachers, and relative autonomy of academic institutions.