The Ministry of Human Resources and Development has put on hold the plan for conducting a single entrance test for admission to engineering courses throughout the country till a consensus is reached with the states. The ministry feels that without reaching consensus, the purpose of having a common engineering entrance exam would not be served. Also, the ministry wants to discuss the possibility of having common counselling provisions with the states.
However, it is not fully clear whether the consultation with the states will delay the implementation of the plan in 2018. As per the sources, as soon as the consensus is built among the states, the centre will work out the modalities of implementing the plan.
Recently, the All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE) had passed a regulation to hold a national-level common engineering entrance exam from 2018. But, it was vehemently opposed by states like West Bengal and Tamil Nadu.
The Ministry of Human Resources and Development wants to conduct a common test for admission to engineering courses similar to that of the National Eligibility-cum-Entrance Test (NEET) for medical and dental colleges introduced last year.
At present, various exams are held for admitting students to engineering courses. For instance, the CBSE conducts JEE-Mains exam every year, for which over 11 lakh students appear. Several states have their own tests. In addition, several private colleges have their own entrance examinations. In India, there are over 3,300 approved engineering colleges with an annual intake of around 16 lakh students. So, the government feels that there should be a single common entrance examination for admission to engineering courses.
AICTE is a statutory body established in November 1945. It comes under the aegis of Department of Higher Education, Ministry of Human Resources Development. AICTE is a national-level council for technical education responsible for planning and coordination of technical education and management of education system in the country. It accredits graduate and post graduate programs at Indian institutions.