Integrated Exam: Govt Plans To merge NEET & JEE Into CUET, Says UGC Chairperson

New Delhi: The national engineering (JEE Mains) and medical entrance (NEET) exams may soon be merged into the Common University Entrance Test (CUET).

According to University Grants Commission (UGC) chairperson M Jagadesh Kumar, the Central government is looking to introduce the integrated entrance exam at the earliest, preferably by next year.

“We have three major entrance examinations, that is NEET, JEE (Main) and CUET and a large number of students appearing for these entrances are common. All these examinations are conducted by the National Testing Agency (NTA). Therefore, we are thinking why not use CUET scores alone for admission to multiple disciplines,” Kumar said.

CUET, launched in 2022 for undergraduate admissions to 90 universities (including 45 central universities), saw 1.05 million students applying. It was the second biggest exam after NEET, which received 1.8 million applications.

Kumar pointed out that National Education Policy (NEP) 2020 envisages “one nation, one entrance”, which will lessen students’ burden of preparing and sitting for multiple entrance examinations for higher education.

“NEET requires biology, physics and chemistry, JEE requires mathematics, physics and chemistry. All these subjects are already in CUET. Therefore, it won’t be an issue for medical and engineering colleges to use CUET scores for admission,” the UGC chairperson said.

The Union Ministry of Education and UGC have already started discussions to prepare all stakeholders, Kumar informed.

A committee, comprising experts from diverse fields, will be formed to look at the existing forms of entrance exams.

“The committee will work on preparing recommendations for an integrated entrance exam. These recommendations will then be shared with the stakeholders for consultation and feedback and based on that the ministry and UGC will decide the modalities of the exam. A lot of planning has to be done,” Kumar said.

The integrated exam could be conducted twice a year, from 2023.

“We may conduct the first session immediately after the conclusion of Board exams and other sessions can be conducted in November or December,” he said.

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