Maharashtra Government issued a notification on Saturday stating that there will be a single common entrance test based on State board syllabus for admissions to engineering, medical and pharmacy courses in the State. Earlier, for admissions to engineering courses a joint entrance exam was conducted every year. In its new move, State government has scrapped all the entrance exams including MH-CET and declared that only one entrance test would be conducted from now onwards. Government has also mentioned that Class 12 marks would not be considered for admission process through entrance test.
Where on the first hand, Bombay high court has allowed minority institutions to conduct their own CET for admissions to academic sessions beginning this year 2015, the scenario is going to change next year onward.
The decision approved by the State government has raised concerns among educationists and administrators as well as junior colleges in the State. They are of the opinion that considering the admission criteria, students would avoid colleges and divert their attention towards preparing for entrance test, rather than board examination, thus the board examinations would loose its importance. Some of them also expressed their concern that the state government has lowered the bar for education with this decision as students would concentrate only on the entrance exams in their two years of junior college, ignoring board examination.
The Maharashtra Federation of University and College Teacher’s Organisation (MFUCTO) also said the same thing mentioning that if the Class 12 exams are not considered for engineering and medical admissions then a majority of the students interested in these two fields will take the board examination for granted. President of MFUCTO Shivajirao Patil said, “The students will stop taking the board exams seriously. Colleges try hard to ensure that students attend classes regularly and not depend only on private coaching class. However, this decision will worsen the situation.”
The minimum criteria for admission to medical and engineering courses is 50% marks in physics, chemistry and mathematics/biology, which can be easily achieved through internal assessments. Principal of a junior college in Pune, Surekha Rane said, “The internal assessment helps students earn good marks to get 50% marks in these subjects. It is not very difficult even for the poor performing students. If students with low scores in standard XII, get into engineering colleges with just the CET scores, then the quality of engineers passing out four years later would be really poor.”
This decision from State government has come in wake of the current year admission tally. There are almost 40% seats in engineering courses staying vacant this year. The common entrance test would be based on the exam pattern followed till the year 2012. Marks in Physics and Chemistry section would be common for all admissions while marks in biology would be taken into consideration for admission to health science courses and marks in mathematics for engineering courses. A separate merit list for engineering and health science courses would be prepared based only on the scores obtained in common entrance test.
The state also formed a CET cell for a fair admission process. The Directorate of Medical Education and Research and the Directorate of Technical Education will assist the cell.
The State government stated that this decision has been taken to reduce the burden of multiple tests on students.