Experts are divided in their reactions to the UGC's announcement on CUET being conducted in accordance with the NCERT syllabus as some felt it might put those school boards at a disadvantage where different books are taught.
UGC chairman M Jagadesh Kumar had on Monday said the central universities will have to use Common University Entrance Test (CUET) scores to admit students to undergraduate programmes this year and not the Class 12 marks.
The syllabus of the CUET will be mirrored with the Class 12 model syllabus of the NCERT, Kumar said.
Sudha Acharya, chairperson of the National Progressive Schools Conference, said, "Many state boards are using NCERT books while some have their own books. The CBSE, which uses NCERT books, is more progressive towards competition. NCERT books are very standardized and they are written by renowned experts. The ICSE Board has different books and students from there might be at a disadvantage."
For instance, NCERT books are taught in UP Board and Rajasthan Board.
The principal of an ICSE school, requesting anonymity, said it looks as if the CUET will put the students, especially from ICSE Board, at a disadvantage. But she quickly added that it will be better to wait and watch.
"It might hamper the chances of students from ICSE Board. But drawing a conclusion at this point is too early. I think we should wait for the first edition of CUET to happen," the principal said.
However, Delhi University professor Rajesh Jha said that the CUET will pose a disadvantage for students coming from rural areas and other state boards.
"Coaching institutes have already started providing coaching for CUET. This means that students from urban areas and those who have resources will be at an advantage," he added.
Delhi University professor Abha Dev Habib also concurred with Jha and said they are forcing the same syllabus on everyone.
"Education is in concurrent list and there are various state boards. Even for NCERT syllabus, MCQs will start guiding on one's schooling in Class 11 and Class 12. The MCQs are trick questions and even in JEE and NEET, we see that students require coaching to clear exams. Same will be the situation here," she said.
International students will be exempt from CUET for admission in Indian universities and they will continue to be admitted according to the existing practice of the varsities on supernumerary basis, the University Grants Commission (UGC) has said.