National Aptitude Test meant to reduce psychological and financial stress: Ramaswamy report

Close on the heels of the decision to conduct a common entrance test for undergraduate medical courses, the government proposes to hold a single test for admissions to engineering and technical courses, including in the Indian Institutes of Technology, too.

The proposed National Aptitude Test will annually benefit more than seven lakh students, who at present have to take multiple examinations to get into engineering.

The objective “is to reduce psychological and financial stress on students and give more emphasis to Class 12 results than coaching,” T. Ramaswamy, Secretary, Department of Science and Technology, has said in his report. He was entrusted with taking a re-look at the test methodology of selections and having a common system for admissions to the IITs, the Indian Institutes of Science, Engineering and Research, the National Institutes of Technology and other engineering colleges.

“The government has broadly agreed on the ‘one nation, one examination' policy,” sources in the Human Resource Development Ministry said after Dr. Ramaswamy made a presentation before it here on Thursday. The single examination obviates the need for students taking 150 entrance tests conducted by various State Boards and institutions, including the IITs.

Like in the common entrance test for medicine, Dr. Ramaswamy has given three different options to implement this system including students choosing the institutions.

The details will be put on the government website to invite public opinion to build consensus as the matter involves States also.

C.N.R. Rao, chairman of the Prime Minister's Scientific Advisory Council, has also recommended a common entrance test for higher education, including medical and technical courses.

He has asked the HRD Ministry to set up a task force to prepare a road map for higher education within the next 12 months.