A centralized college and university admissions exam will be detrimental to students in marginalized communities, including those in rural areas, economically disadvantaged students, and those studying in state administrations, Tamil Nadu chief minister ML Stalin has claimed. In a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Mod, Stalin asked the Prime Minister to revoke the move to mandate the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) as an admission method for all central universities.
Stalin in his letter called CUET a “regressive” move because it overlooks the “consensus on sections” and enforces centralization of higher education. CUET will not only be compulsory for admission to central universities, but the grades obtained by students in CUET can also be used by state universities, private and presumed universities for admission. Since CUET is based on the NCERT syllabus, the exam will put additional pressure on students who have studied in state administrations, according to Stalin.
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First NEET and now CUET are part of the “greater central government effort to centralize admission to higher education,” Stalin claimed.
“CUET, similar to NEET, will sideline the diverse school education system across the country, seriously undermine the relevance of general developmental long learning in schools and cause students to rely on coaching centers to improve their entrance exam scores,” read the letter.
An entrance exam based on the NCERT syllabus will not provide equal opportunities for all students who have studied in various state boards across the country, Stalin said in his letter.
“In most states, the state administration syllabus makes up more than 80% of the total student population and these students invariably come from marginalized sections. Therefore, an NCERT-based entrance exam would place this deserving majority at a disadvantage in gaining admission into central universities,” the letter added.
In the context of Tamil Nady, Stalin said, the number of students from “our state in several central universities and its affiliated colleges” will be drastically reduced.
“Like NEET, CUET will also be against the interests of poor, socially marginalized rural state administration students, and will only support further expansion of coaching centers in the field of humanities admission,” Stalin stated in the letter to P.M.
He said the exam has increased indirect pressure from UGC and non-central universities to adapt. CUET is likely to make this centralized process even stronger.
Over time, this trend undermines the state syllabus-based school education system by inducing students to choose an expensive school that adopts the NCERT syllabus, Stalin said, asking the prime minister to “immediately withdraw (the common entrance examination ).
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