The New Indian Express on Uni-GAUGE: November 11, 2014

Single Entrance Exam for Deemed, Pvt Varsities

BENGALURU: Deemed and private universities in the country have come together under a platform called ERA Foundation to conduct a single entrance test for various professional courses.

In the first phase, the test will be conducted for postgraduate medical and dental courses for the academic year 2015-16.

Though the detailed schedule is yet to be announced, the test will be conducted on February 15, 2015 across the country. The foundation has three levels of experts concentrating on three areas – a board of directors, a board of governors and an executive body. The focus is on three areas – assessment, accreditation and skill development. The foundation is headed by S V Ranganath, retired IAS officer and former chief secretary.

The others involved with the foundation are Dr M R Jayaram, chairman of Gokula Education Trust, Dr K R S Murthy, former director of IIMB, Dr G Vishwanathan, chancellor of VIT University, Vellore, Dr Prashanth Bhalla, chancellor of Manav Rachana International university, Faridabad and others. The foundation will extend the entrance test even for undergraduate programmes and also for other courses like pharmacy, law, management and technical courses.

Dr Jayaram told reporters, “We are in talks with the deemed and private universities across the country. Some have already joined hands with us and the detailed list will be posted soon on the website.” The test is conducted online and will attract minimal fees. “The registration will begin from November 15 and the detailed schedule will be hosted soon on,” Dr Jayaram said.

As of now, JSS University Mysore, M S Ramaiah University, Bengaluru, VIT University, Vellore, Devaraj Urs University Kolar and Reva University, Bengaluru have joined hands with the foundation. KLE University, Belgaum and Siddartha University, Tumkur are likely to join soon.

Ranganath said this has nothing to do with COMED-K or other tests conducts by state governments. The foundation, in association with TCS, conducts the test and hands over the rank list to the universities, which then decide on the admission of the candidate, he said. However, he clarified that 40 per cent seats at private and 25 per cent seats at deemed universities will be given to the state governments.

Reacting to the state government’s decision to bring in amendments to Karnataka Professional Educational Institutions (Regulation of Admissions and Determination of Fee) Act of 2006 to control deemed universities in the state, Ranganath said, “What control can they have? They all need 25 per cent seats and when the universities are ready to give it, the government will have no issues with us.”

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