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Tamil Nadu divided on holding NEET-like engineering entrance test

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The New Indian Express | By Ashmita Gupta  |  Express News Service  |  24th December 2016 |

CHENNAI: The Union HRD Ministry’s latest proposal to conduct a nation-wide uniform entrance test for admissions in all engineering colleges has evoked mixed reactions from the academic community in the city. Media reports on Thursday said that the Union Ministry was seriously considering a uniform entrance test for admissions in all engineering colleges on the lines of medical entrance test NEET from 2018.  Currently, many states conduct their own entrance tests, besides the nation-wide tests by the Joint Entrance Examinations for admissions in IIT and other premium institutions. However, in Tamil Nadu, the entrance exam was abolished after popular opinion that they favor only the urban students who could attend the specialized coaching classes for the entrance exams. The admissions are based only on the marks obtained in the Class XII board exams. But still, there is a section that argues that having an entrance exam would help in bringing better-qualified students to the colleges.

“Only an entrance exam would test the real quality of the student,” said L Selvin, a software engineering student, stressing that it would help improve the quality of education overall. However, a few others point out that introducing such a single entrance exam would be a disadvantage for students from Tamil Nadu since the entrance exams were long abolished here. “This will affect students from financially and socially backward sections. Students from the rural background will find it difficult to answer the questions which will be objective type and aptitude based. But overall students here are not accustomed to entrance examination for more than 10 years now,” says L Elango, Head of Geology Department at Anna University. Another argument placed by the academic community is that the students may not concentrate on the board exams and instead focus only on the entrance exam adversely affecting the learning process.  But the advantage many agree upon is that a single entrance may avoid a situation where the students have to take multiple entrance tests conducted by a few private universities and national institutions. “But the entrance test must evaluate the students in various categories like visualisation, comprehension and aptitude,” said Sunil Kumar, a student of Manufacturing Engineering. –  Courtesy

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