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The human resource development (HRD) ministry’s plan to have a single all-India engineering entrance test seems to have run into rough weather with the IIT faculty opposing its plan to give weightage to Class XII marks during the admission process. A central committee that visited the IIT-Bombay campus on Monday 9th April, found it difficult to counter various arguments posed by the faculty against considering Class XII marks.
Faculty members said considering Class XII scores and drawing equivalence by a set formula was not fair as the 40 Indian boards were diverse and their curricula as well as assessment rules different. Almost all of the 200 teachers present said a fair normalization of Class XII scores for students is not possible as all Indian students who went to high school are not on the same page. Some faculty suggested that Class XII scores can be used at the first level to shortlist students. Improve schooling and our high schools; rid exams of malpractices, have a uniform country-wide exam timetable and quality of teaching-learning, fill up vacant posts for teachers and then we will speak of placing importance on Class XII marks, said a faculty member. The HRD ministry wants to implement a single entrance examination from 2013 for admission to all centrally-funded institutions such as IITs, National Institutes of Technology, IISER, IIIT, IISc (Bangalore), IIEST (Shibpur) and NERIST (Itanagar). States engineering colleges can also admit students based on the exam scores. Stating that the time frame of 2013 was too early for a decision so big, faculty members vetoed the visiting panel’s recommendations. Instead, they suggested a pan-India screening exam, followed by another advanced subjective test for admission to the IITs. Of the four members, merely two chairman of the board of governor of IIT-Madras, M.M. Sharma and IIT-Kharagpur, director Damodar Acharya visited the campus. The panel has already visited IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kanpur and was faced with tough questions; in Kanpur, faculty boycotted the meeting and walked out. At IIT-Bombay, faculty members told the panel that the IIT council was merely an advisory body and cannot interfere with the institutes’ admissions. Unless the senates of all the IITs pass this report, it cannot be implemented, said another faculty. Faculty members said JEE has earned the trust of the country for its fairness and if it has to be improved, then something better must be thought of.
Courtesy: Times of India
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