NEP 2020: The National Testing Agency is to conduct a Common Entrance Exam for the screening of candidates for admission to Higher Educational Institutes as per NEP 2020. The New National Education Policy has established NTA as the body to conduct entrance examinations for universities across the country. The NTA already conducts the All-India Joint Engineering Entrance exam – JEE Main and All-India National Eligibility cum Entrance Test – NEET for medical aspirants, apart from University entrance exams such as JNUEE, DUET, UGC NET, ICAR, AIEEA, etc.
As per NEP 2020, the entrance exam to be conducted by the NTA for candidates seeking admission to universities and colleges will be optional. In addition to the Common Entrance Exam for Universities, NEP introduces significant changes in the format of undergraduate education with the reintroduction of the 4-year multidisciplinary UG programme with multiple exit options. According to the policy, the traditional 3-Year undergraduate degree programmes will continue while under the 4-year programme students can exit after one year with a Diploma, after two years with an Advanced Diploma and a Bachelor’s degree after three years. The 4th Year of the 4-Year degree programme may also lead to a degree ‘with Research’ as per NEP 2020 if the student completes a rigorous research project in their major area(s) of study.
The new National Education Policy also mentions of a single overarching regulator for the entire higher education, which will replace the existing University Grants Commission and the All India Council For Technical Education. The single regulator is to be called as the Higher Education Commission of India (HECI) and will comprise of 4 independent verticals executing the functions of accreditation, regulation, funding and setting standards for learning outcomes.