A meeting of Vice-Chancellors of Central Universities on Wednesday approved in principle to base admission to undergraduate courses on a combination of marks obtained in class XII examination and marks obtained in a national-level aptitude test.

The meeting also unanimously decided that the universities be allowed to have different weightages for class XII marks and the aptitude test marks and that universities like the ones in the Northeast, which have special mandates to go by only class XII marks alone, to stick to that.

In effect, the meeting rejected the recommendation of a committee headed by the Vice-Chancellor of the Jawaharlal Nehru University, B.B. Bhattacharya, that admission to undergraduate courses be based solely on the basis of a common entrance test, and opted for a system similar to the one adopted at the meeting of the Council of IITs recently.

Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Human Resources Minister Kapil Sibal said, the details for the implementation of the decision would be worked out over the next two months, before the next meeting of the Vice-Chancellors. The meeting in principle approved for a common entrance examination for post-graduate courses, with adequate provision for subject-wise focus. Details for this would also be worked out over the next two months.

The Vice-Chancellors also agreed to introduce a category of ‘navaratna' universities on the lines of Ivy League in the United States, which refers to a group of eight universities known for their academic excellence. The ‘navaratna' universities would have greater financial and academic autonomy and act as a benchmark for the other universities.

In addition, they agreed to introduce four year B.Sc-B.Ed and B.A.-B.Ed sandwich courses and offer vocational, skill development and other such programmes as additional courses to help the students have better job opportunities. Further, the meeting decided to allow for credit transfers between and among different universities to enable lateral movement of the students and agreed to set up code of conducts for university administration, faculty, students and other stakeholders.

It was also decided to introduce courses on academic management to ensure that those in management posts in academic institutions, like the Registrars, were able to discharge their responsibilities with greater efficacy.