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From this year, admission to central universities such as the one in Tiruvarur will be made only on the basis of the Cucet written test that will be conducted in 13 languages including Tamil. In the past, the test question paper was only in English. had recently pointed out that tests for admissions to most educational institutions run by the central government were conducted only in English and Hindi. This made lakhs of Tamil medium students passing out of Class 12 every year practically ineligible to take those tests.

Besides English and Hindi, Cucet will be in Tamil, Malayalam, Telugu, Kannada, Urdu, Assamese, Bengali, Gujarati, Marathi, Punjabi and Odiya starting this year.

The announcement by the UGC has opened a door for Tamil medium students to study in the central university in Tiruvarur. But the test questions will largely be based on NCERT syllabus, as per the commission. This means Tamil medium students who have followed the Tamil Nadu government syllabus will have to prepare themselves for these tests separately.

Tamil medium students who have followed the Tamil Nadu government syllabus will have to prepare themselves for these tests separately since they will be based on NCERT syllabus

Last year, admissions to only 12 central universities including the one in Tiruvarur were based on Cucet. But this year, some 45 universities including JNU, Jamia Millia Islamia, Aligarh Muslim University and the Benares Hindu University will admit students for undergraduate courses only as per Cucet, says commission chairman Jagadesh Kumar.

Jagadesh Kumar has said that Class 12 marks will not be considered for admission going forward. Also no counseling will be done that would introduce a single window system. Each university can admit students based on Cucet through its own  process.

State, private and deemed universities can also use Cucet for their admissions if they wish. Colleges in Tamil Nadu that admit students based on Class 12 marks will not use Cucet, it is apparent.

While conducting the exam in Tamil has on paper created an opportunity for Tamil medium students, how many will transition quickly to the NCERT syllabus-based test is a moot point. The National Testing Agency will conduct Cucet just like last year. Also, the tests will most likely be conducted on a computer.

UGC has said that what has so far been a two-hour test will now turn into a three-hour test and will be given in two shifts. The detailed procedure will be known first week of April when the UGC issues an official communiqué.

There are many other institutions run by the central government including the IITs that use JEE Advanced, which base their admissions on tests conducted only in English and Hindi. The decision in Cucet may trigger a change in the language of testing in those exams, too, it is hoped.

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