Idea of Common Entrance Test for new Central Varsities appreciated

Union Minister for Human Resource Development (HRD), Kapil Sibal while taking a meeting of the Vice Chancellors of new central universities in Delhi mentioned that the new central universities should consider carrying out common entrance test for admission to their courses. This according to him this would enable students and their families to receive common couselling while taking admission. The Vice-Chancellors of the new central universities of Bihar, Gujarat, Haryana, Jammu & Kashmir (though there are now two separate universities for Jammu & for Kashmir, the VC earlier appointed for the J&K University was giving the presentation), Jharkhand, Karnataka, Kerala, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Sikkim, Tamil Nadu and for the three old state universities that have been given central universities status in Chhattisgarh, Uttarakhand and Madhya Pradesh gave presentations. The Secretary (Higher Education) Mr. R.P. Agrawal and Chairman, UGC Sukhdeo Thorat were also present during the meeting in which each university meet a presentation on their vision, courses envisaged, infrastructure and HR issues and on individual problem areas.

Sibal, addressing the VCs said that the central universities must become the benchmarks for academic excellence for the rest of the country. While exhorting the VCs to think originally, he asked them to create alliances, chairs with other parts of the world. The Minister also suggested that these universities' academic courses be designed in such a manner to make possible temporary mobility of students and faculty from one university to the other. He asked these universities to invite faculty from abroad and from the private sector in India also for short term teaching stints. The HRD Minister told the universities that they must have different courses, especially such courses that are in conformity with the eco-system of the region. Essentially, different universities specializing in different courses will encourage students to come to a particular university which will come to be associated with a particular course. The Minister said that the UGC has been asked to set up a panel to coordinate with these VCs, so that there are fewer number of common courses. He added that the UGC will also be asked to look at the possibility of changing its guidelines for bringing in world class faculty.

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