‘Senseless’: Several students oppose JEE Main, NEET, CUET merger proposal, express concern

Several students have expressed concerns, doubts about merging JEE Main, NEET, CUET UG entrance exams into ‘one nation, one entrance exam’.

‘Senseless’: Several students oppose JEE Main, NEET, CUET merger proposal, express concern JEE, NEET, CUET UG 2022: Students reaction (Representative image: Shutterstock)
Anu Parthiban | Aug 17, 2022 - 2:08 p.m. IST
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NEW DELHI: The University Grants Commission’s (UGC) recent proposal to merge JEE Main, NEET and CUET was certainly not received well by the students, parents and academicians. Several students have expressed concerns and doubts about the idea of merging engineering, medical and UG entrance exams into ‘one nation, one entrance exam’.

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Saying that the modalities are yet to be worked out, UGC Chairman Jagadesh Kumar on Tuesday said that “the plan is to have a common entrance exam to reduce the burden on students of appearing in multiple entrances. However, we won't hurry up to introduce it as we need to plan well. It is a massive exercise.”

While the UGC chief claims that the proposal to merge all the three national level exams is aimed to reduce burden, students on social media say otherwise, especially after all the three exams - JEE Main 2022, NEET 2022, CUET UG 2022 - were marred by technical glitches and administrative issues.

Students are also protesting at Jantar Mantar, Delhi, over the problems faced during the largest entrance exams this year and demanding extra attempts and ‘justice’. They also alleged that their concerns were not addressed by the education ministry or the National Testing Agency (NTA).

The UGC chairman had said that the proposed exam will be held twice a year in computer-based mode (CBT). Let’s take a look at how these exams are conducted now.

NEET UG 2022

National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET UG 2022) with around 16 lakh average registration every year is the single largest entrance test of the country. The medical entrance exam is still held in the traditional pen and paper mode in 13 languages for admission to MBBS, BDS, and other UG medical courses.

JEE Main 2022

Joint Entrance Exam (JEE Main), engineering entrance exam, with nearly 8 lakh registrations every year is the third largest exam. JEE Main comprises two papers. NTA conducts Paper 1 for admission to UG engineering programs (BE/ BTech) at NITs, IIITs, other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs) and institutions funded or recognized by participating state governments. JEE Main is also an eligibility test for JEE Advanced, which is conducted for admission to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs). Paper 2 is conducted for admission to BArch and BPlanning courses.

This year, the NTA held JEE Main 2022 in two sessions, whereas last year candidates got four attempts and the best of four scores were taken into consideration for admission. The exam is a combination of multiple choice questions (MCQs), numerical questions and also has an aptitude test for paper 1. The JEE Main exam mainly tests students’ knowledge in mathematics, chemistry and physics.

CUET UG 2022

With an average of 9.2 lakh registrations in the debut exam, Common University Entrance Test became the second largest entrance exam in the country pushing JEE Main to the third place. CUET UG 2022 was introduced for admission into all UG programmes in all central universities for academic session 2022-23. The exam is being held in 13 regional languages and in computer-based mode. CUET UG 2022 has three sections; section 1A has 13 languages, section 1B- 20 languages, section II- 27 domain specific subjects, section III- general test. Candidates will have to score a minimum of 60 per cent marks to be eligible for the admission.

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Conducting a single entrance exam in these many regional languages is going to be a massive exercise especially if the UGC is planning to introduce it in the upcoming year. "An expert committee will be set up by the end of this month. It will study all important entrance exams being conducted in the country as well as abroad. If we have to introduce the exam next year, the preparation has to start now considering the massive exercise and the different disciplines involved,” the UGC chairman said.

Students’ concerns

A student wrote on Twitter, “Why conduct many exams for same subjects? Answer. Doctors require quick actions so neet is conduct with 720 marks in 3 hours. Engineers needs mind's to think into deep to a particular problem for there is 300 marks with difficult questions then neet. Cuet is no where with JEE and NEET.”

“This idea about merging JEE and NEET with CUET is senseless rather it's a distraction to overcome the huge blunder done by NTA this year. And these youtubers are falling into this trap and also engaging students with it,” another student said.

A Twitter user said, “Technical errors and glitches have been a complaint for cuet, jee and neet even though the three were/are being conducted separately imagine what would happen if they let millions of students sit for the same exam.”

Another student said, “I condemn the decision of merging NEET and JEE mains exams, taken by UGC,as they target different skills. The subjects like physics & chemistry are common but the levels of difficulty are different in two streams. UGC should seek advice from specialists in these fields.”

Students have also demanded clarity on when the UGC will be introducing the integrated exam as they have started preparing for the JEE Main, NEET exams already. “Please ask UGC to inform whether Merged exam for CUET will be rolled out in 2023 and 2024, to avoid confusion for preparation in JEE Mains and NEET.”

“Do you think that students who are only preparing for CUET will be able to solve JEE level questions. I know, few are preparing for both JEE and NEET, but what to those who are only preparing for JEE or NEET. The question levels of JEE and NEET are completely different.Understand,” a student said.

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