New Delhi, July 29
The government is in the process of setting up a new committee to look afresh at the modalities of the “one nation one test” idea and recommend ways to implement it across disciplines in a phased manner.
Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Council to the Prime Minister Dr CNR Rao is expected to head the committee which will have, as members, representatives from IIT faculty and IIT Council.
The move comes after the proposed single test for admission to engineering courses fell flat and the IITs blocked it seeking an add-on test for entry to their system. The new government panel will have IIT teachers as members to ensure their concerns are addressed at the inception.
On the anvil
Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal told The Tribune in an exclusive interview that his “one nation one test” dream was alive and he was working to realise it.
“The nation has to move towards a single test. There is no other choice. I am going to set up a committee involving the IIT faculty and the Council to look at the issue of a single national test. I have discussed it with the IIT Kanpur faculty.
“They said they would be happy to be part of the committee,” Sibal said.
He said he would ask Dr CNR Rao to chair the committee because under Rao, the PM’s Scientific Advisory Council resolved to have a single national test for admission to all undergraduate courses.
Admitting that the IITs tweaked the originally agreed upon one test formula for admission to technical courses, the HRD Minister said, “I wanted one test. I didn’t succeed in that. The IITs tweaked the formula. I opted out of the final IIT Council meeting and said they could decide whatever they want for admission to their system.
“The single test resolution is not my resolution. It is the resolution of the PM’s Council. It is the view of CNR Rao, who symbolises excellence in education. Clearly, what I was trying to do was consistent with what the best minds in the country were thinking.”
Asked what the new committee would prescribe considering India had over 40,000 colleges offering undergraduate-level courses, the minister said the committee would have to develop a test for all college-level undergraduate admissions.
“It will be done in a phased manner. We will take up engineering first and management gradually,” Sibal said.
Earlier, the IIT faculty had vetoed the IIT Council’s idea of a common test for admission to all technical courses and demanded an advanced subjective test for entry to their institutes. The 20 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), however, agreed to stick to one AIEEE-type test for admitting close to 40,000 students from 2013.
The HRD Minister said he was very happy with the outcome but efforts towards a single test could not be given up.
“We now have a single engineering test for all central institutes except the IITs. Deemed universities have agreed to join it. The All-India Council for Technical Education has passed directions to affiliated technical colleges to join after their states concur.
“The states are writing to us to join the single test. West Bengal will come on board in 2014. So, in principle, we have succeeded to have one test for technical courses,” Sibal said.