New Delhi: As the National Testing Agency (NTA) released the application form for Central University Entrance Test (CUET) for admission to undergraduate (UG) programmes and the University Grants Commission (UGC) chairman making it clear that through this entrance admission across most sought after undergraduate courses in top colleges of University of Delhi, Hyderabad Central University (HCU) and others will be made, the coaching industry had started offering courses for this particular examination for the first time.
The Sunday Guardian talked with coaching industry people and other stakeholders to get an idea of how they are looking at this new entrance examination and how the industry responded. Ankit Mehra, who is associated with the Career Launcher coaching institute, said, “Before this entrance examination, few central universities used to organize entrance examinations for undergraduate courses, but this time, the scene is different. The University of Delhi has been the unanimous choice for students coming from everywhere—be it from Kerala or Bihar. The high cut-off in DU has been a barrier to many deserving candidates. Now, with a common syllabus, anyone getting 65% in board examination had an option to reach Hindu College, whose cut-off in many courses was between 98-99%. I think in the next few years, like pre-medical and pre-engineering entrance preparation, this will also grow. As of now, we are getting good admissions in our CUET module and feedback is the admission will increase in the coming days.”
All the top offline coaching giants based in New Delhi and online teaching giants are offering coaching classes and test series for the undergraduate entrance examination.
Many institutes have started batches since November itself. The course material and content developed by the coaching institutes are in line with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) syllabus.
“Developing the course material for this new entrance examination has been a challenge for us, but we have followed the CBSE syllabus for each subject. In the end, we have also provided some additional information to students and references which they can utilize for better preparation. As this is the first year, we all will closely watch the questions and be prepared better next year,” said a person involved with an online education platform. As per the National Testing Agency (NTA), there will be three sections, one covering languages, the other section will have subject-specific questions and the third section will have a general test. Parents and students who are appearing for the entrance examinations are also worried as nobody knows exactly what type of questions will be asked. Till last year, less-known universities conducted the undergraduate entrance examination under it.
“It is good in many ways as board marks will not be the criteria for admission in top colleges, but it is also true that the coaching sector will grow by leaps and bounds in this entrance preparation also. We know how the UPSC, medical and other entrance examination coaching industry have become a multi-billion dollar industry. It is certain that the CUET coaching industry will also join it in a few years,” said Priyeranjan Mishra, a career counsellor based in Lajpat Nagar.
“My ward took a wrong decision and took Science after class 10th, now he had the option to correct his mistake by cracking the entrance and get admission in a top Delhi University college in his favorite commerce subject, if board marks would have been the criteria, he would have been nowhere,” said Sitanshu Shekhar, a parent.