Former Anna University Vice-Chancellor E. Balagurusamy has urged the Tamil Nadu government not to deny the State students an opportunity to study at Central universities.

“A common entrance examination is a golden opportunity for [students] to explore, expand and excel in their educational and career advancement,” he said in a statement.

Opposition to the Common University Entrance Test (CUET) would “badly affect the future of Tamil Nadu students,” he said. In fact, in 2010, the United Progressive Alliance government had introduced the Central Universities Common Entrance Test (CUCET), which was held across the country. CUET was only a revamped version, he said.

The test would eliminate the need to appear for 50 entrance tests conducted by the Central universities. The universities would be unable to rank students on the basis of Class 12 marks as the country had different boards of education. A common test would ensure equal opportunity to all students, he said.

It would be an insult to students and humiliation to the people of the State to say students would find it difficult to be admitted to Central universities through CUET, he argued. The Tamil Nadu students were “in no way inferior to the students of other States”. The State had an excellent school system with a curriculum on a par with the CBSE and the students were capable of taking any entrance test, he said.

In 2005, the NCERT urged the States to follow the National Curriculum Framework. The CBSE complied with the directive, and all Central entrance examinations, such as JEE, NEET and CUET, were based on the NCERT syllabus, he pointed out.

He dismissed the criticism that such tests would affect rural students, adding that they were intellectually on a par with, or even better than, students from urban areas. They were more motivated to excel than urban students. All it required was quality curriculum and teaching, with the government improving the performance of its schools, he said.

That only a few students would opt for Central institutions in another State was a “narrow-minded thinking”, he argued, because CUET provided an opportunity to pursue education at reputed Central universities and seek employment anywhere in the country.

Despite development, Tamil Nadu was unable to provide jobs to all graduating students, he pointed out. “We have to provide opportunities to students willing to move for studies and later for employment, and CUET is one such opportunity. No political party has the right to stop the movement of students all across the country,” he said.

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