Conducting CUET for PG courses would undermine academic quality in DU

The Academic Council (AC) of the University of Delhi (DU) has approved the resolution to introduce the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for admissions to Post Graduate (PG) courses from the 2023-24 academic session. Academicians of the university are of the view that due to CUET becoming a reality now, they would not be able to set the question papers for the PG exam which according to them is not fair. They believe that setting of question papers from an outside agency like NTA would adversely impact the quality of students’ intake. So far, the question papers were set up by the lecturers of the university which ensured that students with desirable skill sets were admitted for PG courses. By setting question papers themselves, lecturers of the particular department are also able to bring the students of other universities who wish to pursue their post-graduation from DU to an appropriate benchmark level. Assessing students at a PG level on MCQ-type questions would not lead to a fair assessment of the students as CUET does not cater to subjective questions.
Speaking to Education Times, Abha Dev Habib, secretary, Democratic Teachers’ Front, DU, says, “By deciding to conduct CUET for admission to PG courses from the next academic session, the practice of setting question papers would no longer rest with the university. Now the entire set of question papers would be set by NTA which would not be justified because university teachers would no longer be able to set the question papers for PG exams as per the requirements and vision of the department. This is to say that each department admits a certain number of students with particular skill sets and knowledge which are essential to study a particular PG course. Due to a nationwide centralised examination, coaching culture would gain more currency which is not in the academic interest of students. In addition to this, CUET consists of only MCQ-type questions and evaluating students only on the basis of objective-type questions at the PG level would not lead to a fair assessment. Also, due to this, final year UG students would entirely focus on clearing CUET for PG admissions and won’t pay much attention to what they learn during their graduation.”
“CUET would also end the autonomy of the university to conduct admissions to PG courses,” adds Habib.
Vijaya Venkatraman, professor of Spanish, Department of Germanic and Romance Studies, DU, says, “Conducting CUET will be problematic for the university as it would be dependent upon other universities’ schedule. Also, the technical glitches that happened this year during the UG exam may be repeated during PG admissions too in the next academic year. The practice of setting question papers would also no longer remain with us which would ensure that students with desired profiles do not get admitted to the course. Setting question papers by the faculty is essential to attain the desired benchmark level for students from other universities. Conducting an All India entrance exam for PG admissions is not in the academic interest of students and departments.”

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