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    Students pursuing technical courses across the country for the academic year 2019-2020 might soon have to write a mandatory ‘Exit Exam’ and pass it to get their degree certificate. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) passed a resolution making Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for engineering graduates mandatory in all institutions of technical education in the country.
    This decision was taken at a recent AICTE meeting in New Delhi. Considering the increase in the number of unemployed graduates even after graduation, the AICTE has taken this decision. Interestingly, for candidates who have completed their engineering course, the degree certificate will be awarded only after they clear GATE, said AICTE officials. The rest have to re-appear for GATE.
    “The degree certificate will be awarded to students only after they clear the exit examination,” said an official source at AICTE. There are over seven lakh students who graduate from around 3,000 engineering institutions across the country every year.
    Prof Jagannath Reddy, Registrar of Visvesvaraya Technological University, said, “We have yet to receive a communication about it. Once we are notified, an official circular at the university level will be issued.”
    However, the AICTE move has received mixed reactions. Some faculty members welcomed it while some say it will be of no use. The student community is not happy with the decision.
    “This is really a good move and I hope this will increase the chances of engineering graduates getting employment,” said a principal of a private engineering college in the city. Dr Manjunatha B, Principal of New Horizon College of Engineering, said, “It depends on individual skill and instead of conducting an exit exam, it is better for colleges to conduct an aptitude test, a technology test or communication skills test at least once each semester.”
    Another principal felt that this may affect the students who have already got placed. “What if a student who gets placed fails to clear the exit exam? The company will not take him in without a degree certificate and now the AICTE is saying that there won’t be any degree certificate unless they clear GATE,” said the principal.
    Students find this step unnecessary. “If someone does not get employed even after completing the course then it an individual problem and not a general one. I don’t understand why the AICTE is generalising this,” questions a student.
    Meanwhile, there is no clarity if the exit exam will be conducted on a national level by AICTE or by the technical universities of the states or by the colleges themselves. Colleges and universities are yet to be officially notified about it.

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