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TN CM Stalin terms CUET 'regressive', asks PM Modi to scrap proposal

Google Oneindia News

Chennai, Apr 06: Denouncing the Common University Entrance Examination (CUET) for central universities, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister M K Stalin on Wednesday dubbed the proposed exam as 'regressive' and 'undesirable' and urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to withdraw the move to hold the national level test.

M K Stalin

Stalin, pointing to an announcement in connection with CUET, stated in a letter to Modi that 'this regressive step' has clearly vindicated the consistent stand of his government that NEET was a prelude to centralisation of higher education admissions.

The stand against such national exams is based on broad consensus in Tamil Nadu that the introduction of NEET for MBBS admissions was not an isolated instance, he said.

It was a definitive prelude to the larger attempt of the Union government to centralise higher education admissions, the Chief Minister alleged.

There is no doubt that CUET, similar to NEET, would sideline the diverse school education systems across the country, grossly undermine the relevance of overall development oriented long-form learning in schools and make students rely on coaching centres for improving their entrance examination scores.

"I wish to reiterate that any entrance examination that is based on NCERT syllabus will not provide an equal opportunity to all students who have studied in varied State Board syllabi across the country," the CM said.

In most states, state board syllabus students constitute more than 80 per cent of the total student population and these students invariably hail from the marginalised sections, Stalin said.

Hence, an NCERT syllabus-based entrance examination would place such a deserving majority in a disadvantageous position in securing admission to central varsities, he further said.

"In Tamil Nadu's context, this is likely to drastically reduce the number of students from our state in various Central Universities and their affiliated colleges." Stalin said the people of Tamil Nadu are apprehensive that, like NEET, CUET also would be against the interests of the rural poor and socially marginalised students and only favour further mushrooming of coaching centres in humanities as well.

The indirect pressure brought on by the UGC on non-central varsities to adopt CUET is likely to make 'this centralisation process' even stronger, he said.

"This trend would, over a course of time, undermine the state syllabus-based school education system by pushing students to opt for costly schools adopting NCERT syllabus." Considering all aspects, Stalin said his government viewed making CUET mandatory for all central varsities as "yet another undesirable step in the current trend of the Union government trying to sideline both the roles of state governments as well as the significance of school education system in the process of admission to higher educational institutions. Therefore, I strongly urge you to withdraw this step immediately." The University Grants Commission has announced that from the academic year 2022-2023, admissions to various courses in all central universities funded by it would be done only through CUET to be conducted by the National Testing Agency.

Further, it has been stated that the marks secured by students in CUET may also be followed by state, private and deemed universities for their admission process, if they opt so.

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