Education minister Dharmendra Pradhan writes to Tamil Nadu

Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan Writes to Tamil Nadu Govt Over the Issue of CUET

Union education minister Dharmendra Pradhan wrote to his Tamil Nadu counterpart, K Ponmudy, stating that the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) doesn’t infringe upon the rights of the states/UTs and education being matter of Concurrent list enables the Central Government also to take measures for development of education in the Country. The minister in his letter on Sunday also stated that CUET aims at eliminating the need for taking coaching, offers choice of 13 languages as the medium and reduces financial burden while increasing access. Tamil Nadu Assembly on April 12 adopted a resolution tabled by chief minister M K Stalin urging the Centre to drop the test. As on Sunday, over 3.5 lakh candidates have registered for the test and the deadline which was to end on May 6 will be further extended.

In response to the letter by Ponmudy, Pradhan in his reply stated that National Education Policies have been the guiding documents for the Central government and “National Education Policy 2020 may be seen as a continuum to earlier education policies.”

The minister further added that as against the summative assessment which encourages the coaching culture, NEP 2020 emphasizes on formative assessment. The TN Assembly’s resolution, which was unanimously adopted, stated that any entrance exam based on NCERT syllabus
would not provide an equal opportunity to all students as they have studied in varied state board syllabi across the country.

The resolution also said that this is likely to drastically reduce the number of students from the state in various central universities and their affiliated colleges, as it compared the CUET to the National Eligibility cum Entrance Test (NEET), claiming that these exams put the marginalised students at a disadvantage. Pradhan, however claimed that the exam is in the interest of the disadvantaged groups while citing that “Students may apply to more than one university as per their choice with one application form thereby reducing financial burden and increasing access. They have the choice to appear in the entrance exam in any of the 13 languages with a choice of selecting examination centres from hundreds of examination centres across the country.”

On the issue of the syllabus, Pradhan stated that since there is a wide variation in the marking scheme of different education Boards, “entrance solely on the CUET marks. These exams shall test conceptual understanding …. And shall aim to eliminate the need for taking coaching…,” adding, “… the syllabus of undergraduate level entrance examination is based on the understanding of the subjects at Class XII level, irrespective of affiliations to any board like CBSE, thereby benefitting the socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.”

The letter also highlights the 42nd Constitution Amendment Act, stating, “Therefore, there is no case for infringing upon the rights of the States/ UTs…. education becoming the subject matter of the Concurrent list, has enabled Central Government also to take measures for development, promotion and growth of education in the country.”

Courtesy : Times Of India

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