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The IITs' highest decision-making body will meet on September 14 to consider combining the Joint Entrance Examination and other engineering admission exams into a single national test.
The IIT council, which includes the chairpersons and directors of all IITs, will discuss the report of science and technology secretary T. Ramasami on reforms in the JEE at the meeting to be held in Delhi. A few governance and curriculum issues will also be taken up. The HRD ministry had set up a committee under Ramasami to suggest reforms in the JEE by factoring in students' Class XII performance and changing the test pattern to assess intelligence of the candidates. In his report submitted to minister Kapil Sibal this month, Ramasami has favoured the single national test and said it should be conducted more than once a year, a source said. Ramasami conducted an online opinion poll, in which most respondents apparently rooted for the single test, before finalising his report. Most countries have just one national test for admission to tech schools. But India has several of them, including the JEE and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination, besides state-level entrance exams. Nearly 25 lakh candidates take the tests, often having to skip some when dates clash and travelling to centres across the country. The ministry is likely to consult state governments on the proposed national test. The IIT council meeting is also slated to discuss a fourfold tuition fee hike at the under-graduate level, as suggested by a panel headed by former Atomic Energy Commission chairperson Anil Kakodkar. The idea is to enable the institutes to become self-dependent. The proposal is to increase fees from around Rs 50,000 annually to Rs 2 lakh. To ease the burden on students belonging to weaker sections, the committee has proposed that they be given scholarships and education loans without collateral. The panel has also suggested that the IITs should introduce tenure-bound appointment and differential remuneration for faculty based on performance. American universities follow the tenure system under which continuation of service is determined by performance. Another recommendation is that the board of governors of each IIT should have the power to decide on faculty remuneration after assessing parameters such as teaching, research, technology development and industrial consultancy . The IIT council will also discuss changes in curriculum recommended by another committee. Ramasami headed that panel, too.
Courtesy: Telegraph India
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