Students aspiring to enter IITs next year can heave a sigh of relief. The HRD ministry and the IITs have finally resolved the row over the entrance exam by agreeing to a compromise formula at Wednesday's IIT Council meeting in Delhi.
There will be two parts (main and advanced) of the entrance exam now, as opposed to the single test proposed by the ministry earlier. The new pattern will be implemented from 2013.
The IIT Council put an end to the confusion over the new JEE mooted by the ministry by approving the compromise formula proposed by the IITs' Joint Admission Board (JAB). According to the new pattern, the main test will be equivalent to the All India Engineering Entrance Test standards, and 1.5 lakh candidates will be shortlisted from this test for the advanced test.
For admission to IITs, a candidate will be judged on his/her performance in the advanced test and whether he/she is among the top 20% scorers of his/her respective board. These top 20% will be decided based on their individual boards aggregate performance.
DevangKhakhar, IIT-B director, said, "Considering that the candidates appearing for the advanced test will have to be shortlisted from the main test, there will be sufficient time between the two. Earlier, IIT aspirants needed a score of above 60% in their board exams. Now, as they need to be among the top 20% in their respective boards, they will have to score much more in their board exams."
The JAB is expected to release the specifications of the test, which includes dates for main and advanced, in August. IIT-Delhi and Kanpur, which had opposed the single entrance test and announced their own entrance exam, are likely to take back their decision. Meanwhile, the council's decision of approving the compromise formula has received positive reactions from the IIT circle.
However, the weight given to board exam marks is again a stinker. An IIT-B professor said, "Now, students won't know how much is enough in board exams. The top 20% will be dependent entirely on the individual boards considering the different evaluation patterns."
A student preparing for the JEE said, "Earlier, I knew I had to score more than 60% in board exams. Now, its completely unclear. I will have to prepare really hard for the IIT entrance as well as board exams and score well in subjects such as humanities too, which the IIT entrance test doesn't give much importance to."
Top 30% scorers from each board should have a chance. The syllabus and evaluation of every board are different from each other as well as from that of the IIT entrance test, which is considered an aptitude test. With a candidate's aptitude being judged on certain board subjects which aren't important for IITs, the weight given for board exam marks is unfair, another IIT-B professor said. Praveen Tyagi, managing director of the IITian's PACE, a JEE coaching class, said, "The government seems to want to force students to take board exams seriously. Instead of this new pattern, it should introduce quality education at board levels so that students will genuinely be interested in studying for the board exams. However, with admission to IITs depending on the advanced test, the quality of students is definitely ensured."