Changes in IIT

The government announced major changes in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for IITs and other participating institutes on 12th September 2005. These changes will be in effect from next year (2006).

1. Only Students who secure first class (60%) or equivalent in the plus two examinations will be eligible for admission to the IITs. However, there will be a relaxation of 5% for SC/ST students.

2. Unlike the present two-tier examination (screening and mains), JEE will be a single objective type examination, which could include short write-ups on various topics followed by objective questions based on write-ups.

3. The number of attempts has also been brought down to two. Students would be allowed to take the JEE in the year they pass the 12th standard examination and the following year only. Students seeking IIT admissions from next year on cannot ignore their Class XII exams_a first class in the board exam (at least 60%) is the new eligibility for IITadmissions. Only two JEE attempts will be allowed and anyone who joins an IIT can’t take the examination again to aim for a higher rank.

These are among the key changes in the IIT admission process after a review by a task force headed by Idi Chandy, ex-JEE chairman. Its suggestions were accepted by the IIT Council Standing Committee chaired by C N R Rao and comprising all IIT Directors.

The changes:

1. JEE will continue to be the admission test but a first class or equivalent in the Class XII board exam is a must. Relaxation of 5% for SC/ST students.

2. JEE format will change: it will now have short write-ups on various topics followed by objective questions on the write-up. This would test comprehension as well as analytical skills.

3. JEE will be only one test: existing preliminary screening test will be done away with.

4. Students can take JEE in the year in which they graduate from Class XII and the following year. Those who join any IIT cannot take JEE again.

HRD officials said the new process will be reviewed after next year. Said Sanjay G Dhande, Director IIT Kanpur: “The new system is an attempt to see how best we can make the selection…It may not be the final word but is an attempt to ensure that the best of talent is selected.”

The human resources development minister, who officiates as the chairman of the IIT council, has approved the changes suggested by the IIT standing committee. The new format IIT-JEE will be a single objective-type examination. It will include a short write-up on a topic in physics, chemistry or even mathematics, followed by objective questions based on the write-up. This will test the comprehension, as well as the analytical ability of students.

Since .00, the IIT-JEE is conducted in two parts. The screening test eliminates nearly 90% of the candidates, while the main examination selects nearly 4,000 students. Nearly 2 lakh candidates appear for the screening test; of these, only 20,000 appear for the main examination. According to a senior HRD official.The change in the IIT exam is part of the ministry.s overall strategy to reduce exam stress…

In an attempt to re-introduce a degree of seriousness about the school-leaving exam (class XII boards), students will now have to secure at least 60% marks to qualify to appear for the JEE, with SC/ST students getting a 5% relaxation.

This may spell doom for coaching towns like Kota, where students are put through rigorous training for the IIT-JEE examination, while the school-leaving exam is treated as a mere formality.

It has also been suggested that a student is allowed to appear for the JEE in the year that he/she has appeared for board examination and once more the next year.

In other words, each aspirant gets a maximum of two attempts at making it through to the IIT. However, those who get through one of the seven IITs will not be allowed to appear for the JEE again. Often students re-appear for the JEE in order to improve their scores in a bid to gain admission in a course or an IIT with a better reputation. The procedure will be reviewed after JEE .06. In order to reduce the stress associated with preparing for the IIT-JEE, as well as curtail the over-dependence on coaching schools, the IIT standing committee had suggested simplifying the syllabus. The standing committee felt that such a move will help give credit to the school system, as well as enhance the credibility of the Board examination.

A final view on this is yet to be taken. Surendra Prasad, deputy director at IIT Delhi, told ET. Details will only be worked out after the meeting of IIT directors and chairmen on the 17th, according to a senior ministry official, the issue of the syllabus for the exam has been left to the IITs to work out…

A special task force headed by Idi Chandy, ex-JEE chairman, was constituted by directors of the seven IITs to evaluate the entrance examination process. The recommendations were deliberated upon by the standing committee of the IIT council in July, chaired by CNR Rao and comprising directors of all the IITs.

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