The Common University Entrance Test (CUET) for undergraduate admission is not likely to make board exams irrelevant," according to UGC Chairman M. Jagadesh Kumar.
The decline in the pass percentage and the number of students scoring above 90 percent and 95 percent in CBSE class 12 has sparked a debate about whether the introduction of CUET has shifted the focus away from board exams and might eventually render them redundant.
Kumar said, "The basic eligibility criterion for university entrance remains unchanged, which requires candidates to have passed the class 12 examination from any recognized board or its equivalent. In fact, marks in grade 12 for eligibility will vary across programs and universities."
"Moreover, the board examination is an 'achievement test' whereas CUET-UG is a 'selection test.' Hence, board exams at the class 12 level are not likely to become redundant," he added.
The second edition of CUET-UG is scheduled to begin on May 21.
The UGC chief explained that the basic eligibility criteria play a crucial role in admissions to all universities and other national-level examinations such as JEE (engineering) and NEET (medical).
"The principles for university entrance exams require a common test. The National Testing Agency (NTA) is working to offer a high-quality Common Aptitude Test, as well as specialized common subject exams in the sciences, humanities, languages, arts, and vocational subjects," Kumar said. "These exams will assess conceptual understanding and the ability to apply knowledge, aiming to reduce the need for coaching," he added.