A key change may soon be on the way for the admission criteria of the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs). According to reports, the collective of India’s premier engineering institutes are currently pondering over the idea of tweaking the new changes in their admission criteria implemented merely two years back in 2012 by the previous UPA government.
Apparently, the IITs want to change the current requirement that candidates must be in the top 20 percentile in their Class XII board exams in order to be eligible for admission. There is a widespread view that the rule implemented on behest of the then HRD minister Kapil Sibal is shutting many deserving candidates out.
The Joint Admission Board (JAB) consisting of the heads of all the IITs met in Mumbai last week to discuss the proposed changes to the current rules. The JAB also discussed how to accommodate those unfortunate deserving students who had been rejected despite their success in the entrance test (JEE Advanced). One possible change may include allowing admission on the basis of some weightage to a candidate’s aggregate marks in the board exam (apart from their performance in the JEE Advanced).
The proposal for such changes will be discussed further by the JAB on September 22, 2014.
The existing top-20 percentile system creates more problems for those state boards that generally resort to a more generous marking system. For example, the top 20 percentile for students in schools affiliated to the Andhra Pradesh state board was 91.8. Because of this, the gates to the IITs were already closed for a whopping 91.1 per cent students who fell short of that mark.
“Such candidates are small in number. They usually make up just 2.5 per cent of those who have cracked the entrance test. It’s unfortunate that some cannot get in even though they have scored above 80 per cent in their board examination,” an IIT director told Economic Times on condition of anonymity. “We feel that there should be an additional criterion for such candidates. It could be a formula which gives weightage to both aggregate board marks and the top 20 percentile cut-off. We will only finalise it once the IIT Council takes a view on this proposal.”
“We understand that there could be some resistance to this move, if approved by the (IIT) Council…. But we have discussed the issue threadbare, which is why we have proposed to introduce an additional or a sub-criterion which could be a combination of top 20 percentile condition and absolute marks scored in the board exams,” ,” said another IIT director.