The human resource development (HRD) ministry has decided against conducting a single entrance exam for engineering from next year and states will continue with their own examinations. HRD minister Prakash Javadekar on Sunday told HT that a committee formed by the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) will submit a report on whether the single entrance exam will be conducted some time in the future. “The issue of single entrance exam is still pending and a committee will submit its recommendations. But no changes will be made next year for sure. So no single entrance exam will be conducted next year. Depending on the recommendation of the committee further decision will be taken,” said Javadekar. Officials said unlike the National Eligibility Cum Entrance Test (NEET), engineering exams are different as there is an oversupply in the market.
India has more than 3,300 approved engineering colleges affiliated to universities, with an annual intake of an estimated 1.6 million students. But only about half of the seats are filled. “There are more institutes and courses than students so the scenario here is different. The experiences of NEET are being studied but no exam will be held next year,” said a senior official. NEET is conducted by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) for admissions to undergraduate and post graduate courses to medical colleges all over India except a few states. Once implemented, the single engineering entrance test will do away with the practice of multiple examinations conducted by central agencies, state governments and private institutions. The current admission process is dependent on performance these examinations. The CBSE conducts the JEE-Main for Centre-funded institutions. More than 1.3 million students write this examination every year. A number of states conduct their own tests while some grant admission based on class 12 marks. Several private colleges also have their own examinations.