In a step that would democratise the process of admission in central government-funded universities to students across the country, the Modi government is mulling over a single exam for admission into all central universities.
For decades, a large number of students from the underprivileged background (in terms of financial resources as well as access to information), were practically deprived of the opportunity to admission into central universities because there were too many exams that they had to face and for every exam, there was an exam fee.
So, the students from financially backward families as well those from less aware families didn’t have the opportunity to get admission into prestigious central universities like Delhi University, Banaras Hindu University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, Aligarh Muslims University, and others. There are around 50 central universities in the country and the government is planning to conduct a single entrance exam for admission into all of them just like in the case of the IITs and IIMs.
The Modi government is also pushing Delhi University to move away from Class XIIth exam marks-based admission criteria to entrance exam-based admission criteria.
Delhi University which alone affiliates more than 70 colleges, is one of the most sought-after universities in the country which had more than 5 lakh applications for UG courses only during the last academic year. In the last few decades, many questions have been raised on the admission process of the university as it still admits students on the basis of their marks in class XII examinations.
For decades, students and parents across the country to have demanded DU to change its admission criteria because the students from the boards which are conservative in awarding marks – like UP Board, Maharashtra Board, and Bihar Board – are at a disadvantage while the students from CBSE and Tamil Nadu Board easily get admission in the university.
However, despite repeated demands and protests, DU still follows the same criteria of admissions because it suits the kids of Delhi elites. The top bureaucrats, politicians, and intellectuals who reside in the city, send their kids to the top schools of Delhi, most of which are affiliated with CBSE or ISCE. These schools follow the CBSE pattern and most of the students score above 90 per cent marks. Students from such schools easily get admission into top DU colleges.
Apart from a world-class education, the fee in Delhi University colleges is minimal, therefore, the parents who send kids to elite schools of the city save lakhs of rupees on the higher education of the students.
Now the university has agreed to give 50 per cent weightage to the entrance exam and the rest will still be based on the marks of class XII exams. This is a good start; in the next few years DU might admit all the students on the basis of entrance exams and the students across the country would get a fair chance to study in the prestigious university.
The Modi government is trying to end the elitism in the central university campuses like Delhi University, JNU, AMU and democratise them for all students across the country. A single entrance test score as the criteria for admission would make these campuses, where the union government subsidies the education, accessible to students from all the corners of the country, for whom studying in these colleges has been a distant dream.