VTU was replaced by KEA for conducting PGCET

Is the State Government's notification authorising the Karnataka Examination Authority (KEA) for conducting the Postgraduate Common Entrance Test (PGCET) for admissions to postgraduate courses in engineering, technology, computer application and business management in violation of the VTU Act 1994?

Expert's views

The former Vice-Chancellor K. Balaveera Reddy, who headed Visvesvaraya Technology University (VTU) for two terms, toldThe Hindu on Saturday that VTU had been conducting PGCET since 2005 when the Government constituted the Central Postgraduate Admission Committee (CPAC) as the State agency to oversee the smooth conduct of admissions to postgraduate courses in universities of Karnataka.

The CPAC, with Vice-Chancellor of VTU as Chairman, Registrar as member secretary and a few other Vice-Chancellors of different universities in Karnataka as members, decentralised counselling through videoconferencing and centralised data server for seat allotment simultaneously at five centres across the State.

The Chapter-VI (Authorities of the University) Sub-section (L) of Section 20 authorises the university specifies “to make regulations regarding the admission of students to the university, constituent colleges and conduct of the examinations by the university and by the constituent colleges.”

Prof. Balaveera Reddy says conducting PGCET is a complex process. There are more than 70 engineering and technology PG courses in VTU and its affiliated colleges. For conducting an entrance test, all these PG courses have been divided into nine disciplines pertaining to different branches. Further, the postgraduage programmes are categorised as full-time and part-time and separate merit lists are prepared. The list of GATE candidates, arranged in the order of merit considering the valid GATE score. One of the most complicated issues is the allotment of a specific course out of the 72 and odd courses.

If the KEA is going to conduct PGCET, does it have the required infrastructure and access to technical experts for the evaluation of candidates, Prof. Reddy asks.

Besides all this, the question paper pattern is complicated and to prepare question papers more than 100 experts are required. How will the officials of KEA know the experts in all these disciplines? A lot of thinking has gone into evolving a methodology to prepare question papers.

‘Politician heads KEA'

When other general universities enjoy the freedom of conducting the entrance test, counselling and admitting students, why is the Government singling out a professional university like VTU? Ironically, unlike other agencies, KEA is headed by a politician not by an expert.

Dr. Reddy added that if there have been irregularities, and officials connected with the conduct of examinations and admissions have been found involved in corrupt practices, it can be probed and action can be taken against the guilty. But, it is not prudent to cut the nose for the common cold!

  • The former Vice-Chancellor of VTU asks whether KEA has the infrastructure to conduct PGCET

  • Balaveera Reddy says if there have been irregularities in VTU, probe should be conducted