A common entrance test for admissions to postgraduate (PG) and M.Phil./Ph.D. courses across 42 Central Universities (CU) has been recommended by a committee of vice chancellors of the CUs. According to sources in the committee, it is being said that if the model is successful, it would also be implemented for undergraduate courses. The report, however, does not provide any information regarding undergraduate courses. Another committee in the Navratna Universities, which are the Indian counterparts of the Ivy League universities in the USA, has recommended that the central government should provide direct funding to these varsities. Also included in the recommendations by the panel are freedom to decide salaries and fee structure, cutting increments to non-performers, rewards for teachers that perform well and flexibility to the varsities to invite the best faculty from any part of the world. The committee for the decision regarding a common entrance test for admissions into Central Universities had been constituted by Human Resource Development (HRD) Minister Kapil Sibal last year. The suggestion for the common entrance test may result in strong reactions. The committee said that a common entrance test for postgraduate courses must be based on both performances in the entrance test as well as in the graduate examinations. The performance of a student in the first two years of graduation will be factored. The weightage given to the entrance test marks would be 70 per cent and the weightage allotted for performance in the graduate course would be 30per cent. The common entrance test for admission to the CUs would consist of two sections that would be scholastic aptitude and knowledge of subject in which admission is being sought. According to a suggestion by the committee, the relative weightage for the two sections could be along the ratio 40:60. The committee also said that certain universities with special character or historical reasons will be free to have their own admission procedure. The common entrance test in the case of M.Phil and Ph.D. courses would be made similar to the National Eligibility Test for Junior Research Scholarship conducted by the University Grants Commission (UGC). Also, the panel has recommended that the CUs would be allowed to have their own interviews for M.Phil and Ph.D. programmes. The CUs will also be given autonomy regarding the weightage given to interviews.
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