NEW DELHI: The Centre has approved the proposal for a single entrance exam for engineering and architecture at the undergraduate level from 2018, on the lines of the national eligibility and entrance test for medical colleges.
The Union human resource development ministry has asked the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) to issue a "suitable regulation" for the implementation of the proposal from the academic year 2018-19.
The test shall be conducted multiple times a year, as is the case with college admission tests like SAT in the US, and is intended to bring uniformity in academic standards and reduce the influence of donations.
The test will, however, not include admissions to IITs, which will continue to hold their own entrance exams. IITs, unlike private and state colleges, are not seen to be affected by fluctuating standards and admission processes.
The HRD ministry has asked AICTE to ensure that the testing process is standardised, keeping "in view the linguistic diversity". AICTE sources said the test was to be held in multiple languages, like NEET which will be conducted in 10 languages this year.
Ministry seeks suggestions from states
According to a senior HRD official, "The admission for IITs will continue as per the present scheme. IITs will conduct the joint entrance examination (advanced). Students who qualify JEE (mains) can appear for the JEE (advanced) examination. Approximately 2,00,000 students qualify to appear for JEE (advanced) examination."
The proposal is seen to be in "accordance with the policy of the government to improve standards and the quality of engineering education" and the switchover will take place next year.
At present, many states conduct their own engineering examination or admissions are done on the basis of Class XII marks. Engineering colleges in five states use the score obtained in JEE (mains) as the basis for admission. There are 3,288 engineering colleges across 27 states, with most of them in Tamil Nadu (527), followed by Maharashtra (372), Andhra Pradesh (328), Uttar Pradesh (295) and Madhya Pradesh (211).
The ministry has requested all state governments/deemed universities "to communicate their constructive suggestions for smooth implementation of the regulation. It may also be useful to request as many institutions as possible to come under a joint seat-allocation system for a more efficient seat allocation process".