The human resource ministry has decided to modify the existing two-tier JEE format into one single entrance test for admission into all central government funded engineering schools.
The changes, according to the Ministry, will be implemented from 2015.
The new unified examination will serve as the gateway to undergraduate engineering programs in all central government funded engineering schools across the country. As a necessary precursor to this new admission format, the government has urged all engineering colleges to conduct a counselling for students in 2014.
The existing two-tier format includes one preliminary (JEE Main) and one advanced (JEE Advanced) test. While the JEE Main is used for selecting deserving candidates for all central government funded technical schools, including the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs), JEE Advanced serves as the entrance exam for admission into the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs).
It is worth mentioning that only those who rank amongst the top 150,000, are qualified to appear in JEE Advanced.
Confirming this new development, Ashok Thakur, higher education secretary in the Government of India, stated that the IITs have already been informed about the move.
The two-tier system was first introduced in 2012 after a string of protests to curb the growing influence of coaching institutes and turning the admission process a lot simpler for students. The government took this decision after consulting with all the IITs and other top technical schools across the country.
“For this year, our agenda is that we want to have common counselling,” Thakur noted, while adding: “We are very keen on joint counselling. That’s the issue and we want to get after them (IITs). Last year, we tried but IIT Delhi (the coordinating IIT) was very adamant.”
Commenting further about the loopholes of the existing two-tier format, Thakur said, “This (two separate counsellings) defeats the purpose of a central exam. What we are asking them is to prepare one merit list.”
The usual perception amongst IITs is that they are a cut above other engineering and technology schools in the country; and therefore should not be made to build their selection process on the same standards as others.
The students of most NITs are very sharp and therefore, joint counselling will assist them and engineering institutes in not only reducing hassles but also in decreasing the number of vacant seats.
Nearly, 600 seats at the NITs and the IITs fell vacant in 2012 due to separate counselling that enables a candidate to receive offers from an NITs and an IIT at the same time.
“Earlier, we used to do one round of counselling for admitting students, the government told us to do twice and then three rounds and we have done that. But has the situation improved? I don’t think so. Students take admission and then leave for a better course or leave for a foreign school later. How will you fill up those seats?” H.C. Gupta, a professor of IIT-Delhi and chairman of the IIT-JEE Advanced exam last year, said, Live Mint reports.