Will it be the end of road for EAMCET?

Students at an Eamcet-3 exam centre. File photo   | Photo Credit: V. Raju

Will it be end of the road for State-level entrance examinations like EAMCET, ICET and EdCET with the Central Government proposing National Testing Agency (NTA)?

The experience of NEET replacing the medical entrance examination last year should be an indication that all other exams may also be abolished with a single entrance exam for each professional course through the NTA, feel senior academics and those heading the higher education council.

The opinions, however, are divided with some supporting such a replacement through the NTA and some seeing it as an encroachment upon the State’s autonomy. With the diversity and inequality wide spread across the country some academics say this move will not be a fair game.

Boon for students

Former EAMCET Convenor N.V. Ramana Rao, who conducted the EAMCET for seven years, says a unified test for engineering admissions across the country will reduce burden on the conducting agencies in the State and they can focus more on academics. Moreover, students will be spared from writing multiple exams and local ranks obtained from the national exam can be utilised as admissions continue to be in the State’s hands.

Though there is no clarity on the NTA as of now, senior academics see this as an attack on State’s autonomy. “If the Central Government goes ahead with the system without taking the State’s views or its concerns it should be viewed as encroachment upon our academic autonomy,” argues Tummala Papi Reddy, Chairman, Telangana State Council of Higher Education (TSCHE).

He further argues that it reveals Centre’s intentions to grab all the power from the States and its bodies and there might be a larger picture of thrusting its ideology. He cites the Government’s plans to bring 11 major academic bodies like UGC, AICTE and NCTE under one agency.

Regional inequality

Former OU Dean P.L. Vishweshwer Rao argues that common test is not an answer for students’ woes when there is so much inequality surrounds the education space. This will only further strengthen the coaching centres rather than reducing their role and provides unequal play field for rural and socially disadvantageous sections. He cites how the UPSC exam had also become a big issue due to these inequalities.

The Students Federation of India (SFI) too sees increasing thrust of centralisation with the proposal. There is no effort to address the main issues concerning the test like the papers in regional languages and inequalities between rural and urban segments.

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Printable version | Jun 20, 2021 7:45:34 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Will-it-be-the-end-of-road-for-EAMCET/article17129442.ece

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