Sibal for common entrance test in new Central varsities

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Union Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal on Tuesday made out a case for a common entrance test in the Central universities that are coming up, but their Vice-Chancellors insisted that this would not be a practical option unless subject-specific tests were held to evaluate aptitude.

This difference in opinion emerged at the meeting of the Vice-Chancellors called by Mr. Sibal here.

The Minister contended that the entrance test would save students and their families the trouble of shuffling from various locations for tests and counselling.

However, the Vice-Chancellors were of the view that since the universities offered a range of courses, there could not be a one-size-fits-all examination.

V-Cs’ reservations

Also, they had reservations about the Ministry’s insistence on evolving unique and exclusive courses to avoid repetition.

Given that the Central universities were being set up to meet the demand for higher education, routine courses could not be ignored while specific high-end courses could be evolved.

Still, they have gone along with the Minister’s proposal to set up a panel to coordinate with the Vice-Chancellors on courses to avoid duplication.

Another difficulty they raised pertained to faculty shortage. Though the Ministry urged them to offer experts handsome emoluments to encourage them to join the faculty, the Vice-Chancellors said this was an uphill task as there was a general reluctance to join a new university.

The Minister was apparently upset at the Vice-Chancellors confining their presentations to detail the measures taken by them to put in place infrastructure and recruit faculty and other staff. He asked them to come up with vision documents charting a road map on how they proposed to turn the new universities into world-class centres of learning.