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CET exams: Decision only after considering feasibility assessments, says Maharashtra Education Minister

Uday Samant. .

Uday Samant. .   | Photo Credit: Vivek Bendre

The State government will take a decision on conducting the Common Entrance Test (MHT-CET) in the next seven-eight days only after considering all feasibility assessments, said State Higher and Technical Education Minister Uday Samant here on Thursday.

He also said the authorities of the CET cell were carrying out feasibility surveys to see if exam centres could be created at the taluka and district levels.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns have cast a shadow on the CET, for which more than six lakh candidates across Maharashtra have registered. The crucial entrance exam determines admissions to 14 technical and professional courses.

“We are trying to work out the logistics for setting up centres at the taluka level. Can we get five-and-a-half lakh students to centres at the taluka, district or divisional levels? We also have to see whether exams can be held by taking due precautions like physical distancing to ensure the health and safety of students. Once authorities present their feasibility assessments over the next week or so, only then can we take a decision after consulting with them,” Mr. Samant said.

Surging cases

The Minister said in view of the surging cases, several schools and hostels had been requisitioned by district administration authorities as quarantine centres.

He also said the Education department was mulling over the alternative of giving students an entry on the basis of marks secured in their Class 12 or Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) exams.

“Even in this case, there are a number of factors that have to be taken into account. Generally, students study harder and prepare more intensely for cracking the CET than for the HSC exams. So, it would be unfair if entry is given only on the basis of Class 12 marks. All these variables have to be considered before we take a concrete decision.”

The lack of clarity has left the students in a limbo. Similar confusion prevails among students awaiting their final year examinations.

“The State government is firm over not holding final year exam. The Department of Higher and Technical Education has accordingly told the Bombay High Court that it was dangerous to hold the final year semester exams,” said Mr. Samant, clarifying that this did not mean that the State government was not in favour of the exams.

He said a Teachers’ Training Academy would be set-up in Pune city by December 1 to impart training and equip teachers of all schools across Maharashtra.

Lashes out at BJP over Aaditya appointment

Mr. Samant hit out against the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) for criticising the State government’s appointment of first-time Minister and Shiv Sena MLA Aaditya Thackeray, son of Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, as chairman of a panel to suggest nominees for the prestigious Padma awards.

The BJP had slammed the government over the “unconventional appointment” saying Mr. Thackeray was too inexperienced to head such a panel.

Mr. Samant said: “Some people [within the BJP] are allergic to the ‘Thackeray’ name while some are struggling to stay relevant. Rather than raise objections over Aaditya Thackeray’s youthfulness, they ought to understand that it is merit, and not age, that counts in politics.”

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Printable version | Sep 28, 2020 5:34:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/cet-exams-decision-only-after-considering-feasibility-assessments-says-maharashtra-education-minister/article32345925.ece

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