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The government's proposal to put in place a common entrance examination for engineering and science has run into a roadblock. The Senates of IIT Kanpur and Delhi, and the IIT Faculty Federation have questioned the decision to replace the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (IIT JEE). They have decided to ask the human resources development ministry to hold on and further debate the issue of examination reforms. Their objection come soon after states like Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry and West Bengal sought more time to study the proposal.
The ministry hopes to make the common entrance examination, Indian Science Engineering Eligibility Test (ISEET), operational from 2013. This single national entrance test for admission into engineering and science courses would be applicable for all centrally-funded institutions, such as IITs, National Institutes of Technology, IISER, IIIT, IISc (Bangalore), IIEST (Shibpur) and NERIST (Itanagar). It will replace the IIT-JEE - used for admissions by the 15 IITs, Institute of Technology, Benaras Hindu University and Indian School of Mines. It will also replace the AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) used by the National Institutes of Technology. The common eligibility test will consist of two parts. The first will be an aptitude test which will be objective type testing the students' abilities of comprehension, critical thinking, and logical reasoning. The second is an advance test based on the students' problem solving abilities for basic science subjects. The aim of both tests would be to indicate the student's scholastic level and aptitude for science and engineering. The new system would also give weightage to the School Board Examination or class XII results. The proposal considered by the Central Advisory Board on Education set 60:40 weightage ratio for the eligibility test and class XII results, respectively. The Senate has disapproved the manner in which the HRD ministry is pushing through these changes. The Senate is the highest decision making body in the IIT. The IIT Faculty Federation has opposed the proposed reforms, arguing that the new examination system wouldn't be able to assess whether students have either the aptitude or knowledge to be admitted to the country's top engineering schools. The Senate of IIT Kanpur is understood to have differed with the proposed single entrance test with weightage formula for admission into IITs. The senate members said the method suggested for factoring in Class-XII score in selection would not help the IITs to ensure that the best students were admitted. Their argument is that since the assessment system varies among school boards, it would be not be possible to assess all students by the same scale and weightage. The IIT Faculty Federation is also opposing the weightage formula. In its proposal the ministry has suggested a statistical method for normalisation of school board scores. This is based on a pilot testing carried by the Indian Statistical Institute in respect of the evaluation made for 3-4 years for the four selected Boards (CBSE, ISE, Tamil Nadu Board and West Bengal Board).
Courtesy: The Economic Times
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