The second edition of the Common University Entrance Test (CUET)-UG will be conducted from May 21 to 31 next year, the National Testing Agency (NTA) announced on Friday.
The undergraduate admission process in universities will be completed by July 2023 and the new academic session can begin on August 1 next year.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) in March last year announced that undergraduate admissions will be conducted in all central universities through a common entrance test and not on the basis of class 12 marks.
According to UGC Chairman M Jagadesh Kumar, the application process for the CUET-UG will start in the first week of February, 2023.
"The number of subjects and pattern of question papers will remain the same. A candidate can take as many as six domain subjects, in addition to one or two languages, and the General Test. The test would be conducted in the following languages -- Assamese, Bengali, English, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Marathi, Odia, Punjabi, Tamil, Telugu, and Urdu," he said.
Kumar said the NTA is working on preparing 1,000 test centres across the country, of which 450–500 centres will be used per day.
The dates for the CUET-PG are also expected to be announced next week.
"CUET-PG is expected to be held in the first or second week of June 2023. Results of CUET-UG are planned to be announced in the third week of June 2023 and those of CUET-PG in the first week of July 2023. With the decided schedule of CUET-UG and CUET-PG, universities can complete their admission process by the end of July 2023 and begin the academic sessions by August 1, 2023," Kumar said.
The debut edition of CUET-UG began in July last year and was marred by glitches, prompting the NTA to cancel exams at multiple centres. While several students were informed about cancellation a night before the exam, many were turned away from centres citing cancellations.
Kumar had then said the exam at certain centres had been cancelled following reports of "sabotage".
With 14.9 lakh registrations, the CUET, the common gateway for undergraduate admissions in all central universities, is now the second biggest entrance exam in the country, surpassing JEE-Main's average registration of nine lakh.
NEET-UG is the biggest entrance test in India with an average of 18 lakh registrations. While JEE-Mains is a Computer Based Test (CBT) conducted twice a year, NEET is conducted in pen and paper mode.
Responding to a written question in Parliament earlier this week, Union Minister of State for Education, Subhas Sarkar denied that the crucial exam delayed the academic calendar in central universities last year.
"The scale of the test was huge and some difficulties were faced by the students due to technical and geo-climatic reasons and the test was rescheduled in such cases. However, the overall process was managed successfully.
"There is no information that CUET has adversely affected studies and it has resulted in cost escalation of graduation, rather the students were able to apply to more than one university with a single form and fee. This has resulted in saving on the cost and effort needed to secure admission in universities,” the minister had said.