Coming close on the heels of a common entrance test for undergraduate medical courses, the government now proposes to hold a single test for admissions to engineering and technical courses, including that of Indian Institutes of Technology. The proposed National Aptitude Test will benefit more than seven lakh students annually, who at present have to take multiple examinations to get into engineering courses.

The objective behind holding the National Aptitude Test is to reduce psychological and financial stress on students and give more emphasis on class 12th results than coaching, T. Ramaswamy, Secretary Department of Science and Technology has suggested in his report. He had been entrusted with the task of “re-looking” at the test methodology of selecting students and having a common system for admission for the IITs, Indian Institutes of Science, Engineering and Research, Nation Institutes of Technology, and other engineering colleges.

The government has broadly agreed for “one nation one examination” policy, sources in the Ministry of Human Resource Development said after Dr. Ramaswamy made a presentation before the Ministry here on Thursday. The single examination will save students from sitting in 150 entrances conducted by various state board and institutions including the IITs.

Like in the case of a common entrance test for medical courses, Dr. Ramaswamy has given three different options to implement this system which includes students being allowed to choose the institutions. The details of these will be put on the government website to invite public opinion to build a consensus as it involves States also.   

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

Prof. Rao has also asked the Ministry of Human Resource Development to set up a task force to prepare a road map for higher education within the next 12 months.