Every year, almost 45 lakhs students appear in NEET – UG (National Eligibility cum Entrance Test), JEE (Joint Entrance Examination), and recently introduced CUET (Common University Entrance Test).
When a student doesn't score well in the NEET or JEE exam, he/she has to appear in the CUET exam to take admission in different universities. But when he/she does that, the issue lies here is that they have to give the CUET exam with the same subjects with which they have appeared in NEET or JEE exam if they wish to get admission in any university for Physics, Chemistry, and Biology/Maths subjects.
For example, if a student writes the NEET exam he/she will have to appear the exam with Physics, Chemistry, and Biology subjects then once again they have to appear in the CUET exam with the same subjects.
Due to this, the students spend a lot of time preparing same subjects for different exams. Not just that, they even waste time travelling to different centres to fill the registration forms and end up paying fees for the same.
Currently, the UGC is working on a concept to merge the JEE, NEET and CUET examinations. They are working on a concept to create a committee to find the possibility to merge these exams.
If this works out well, the students will get the opportunity to use a common score to get admission in Medical/Engineering and different universities. So, one entrance exam will be there in place of NEET, JEE and CUET and students will not have to prove themselves again and again in different examinations for proving proficiency in the same subjects.
Those who appeared in the combined entrance exam with Physics, Chemistry and Biology can apply for all the medical streams as well as in different universities. They can also apply for admission in different universities having the same subjects and can get placed in medical colleges also. Same will be followed for Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics for engineering stream as well.
As there are two sides to every coin, we have identified some problems that students might face if combined exam for NEET and JEE.
1) Numerous Applicants
This year, JEE was given by roughly 9.5 lakh students and NEET was given by 18.5 lakh students, while CUET was given 12.5 lakh students. If one exam for one country is established while removing CETs of every state, this pool can reach up to 50-60 lakh students.
If the authorities plan to conduct the one entrance test online for that many number of applicants, it can lead to too many problems especially procuring number of computers across India.
2) Combinations of subjects
CUET is for University students which involves a lot of other subjects like languages, commerce subjects, graphics, environmental studies, geography, history, mass media, political science, etc..
This year CUET had 54000 unique combinations of subjects which led to too many confusions. There were issues like exams getting postponed and reconductions of exams. Due to this, CUET was conducted all the way from July 15th to August 30th. NEET, JEE are highly competitive exams and any kind of postponement or injustice can lead huge uproar from the student community.
3) JEE and NEET together
Engineering as a course requires more analytical and problem solving aptitude. JEE exam targets to test the same as it involves candidates to solve problems from all three subjects and focuses more on the analytical side.
Medical as a course demands heavy content retaining capabilities and quick thinking ability.
NEET is written by students who majorly avoid math in 11th and 12th curriculum. Any increase in analytical level of paper can increase stress in preparation of students.
In this case, if the paper is more on theoretical approach huge pool of students will be scoring equal number of marks which can create a problem while opting for seats.
As number of seats in engineering are more than number of applicants, this change can increase more stress demand towards NEET students.
Recently, during an interaction, the UGC Chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar stated that the move towards 'one nation, one entrance exam' was in line with the National Education Policy (NEP) 2020.
The UGC is yet to create a committee that will take care of the details. The students are also concerned about what syllabus will they follow if they have to appear the combined exam. The NCERT syllabus will be followed by the new integrated CUET UG, and NTA will be instructed to follow the Class 12 syllabus for all subjects, including those for JEE and NEET.
The proposal of combined entrance exam suggests that it be in online mode and twice a year. The exam will probably be held in the months of May and December every year.
The students will get a chance to appear in one or both the exams of the year. Earlier, there was one confusion that if students could not be selected in NEET or JEE, they have another chance to be successful in CUET. But if there is only one entrance exam, then they have to perform in only one exam. They will not have another chance. Because of this, the authorities have decided to conduct the exams twice a year. Then, the students will get two chances to perform better.
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