After a process of deliberations and consultations spanning over two years, a meeting of the Joint Councils of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other Central Educational Institutions approved the conduct of a common admission examination process with weightage to performance in the Class XII Board examinations in its meeting today which was presided over by the Minister for Human Resource Development, Communications & IT, Shri Kapil Sibal.
The multiplicity of entrance examinations that a student intending to pursue a course in engineering has to appear for has been a cause of concern to society. The burden imposed on the students in terms of time, payment of examination fees and the stress caused in scheduling and preparing for each examination is tremendous. The students have to perforce restrict their choice of institutions for which they can compete. We have been working on reforms in the examination system by moving towards a common national test to reduce the burden on the students and at the same time preserving the autonomy of the State Governments and institutions in devising its admission process.
Another serious problem with the present system is the neglect of the Class XII examination process while admitting students to engineering institutions. This has led to the almost complete disregard to the secondary school system and neglect of education imparted in schools impacting quality and access. Parents and children have been forced to seek access to outside-the-school instruction methods to enable the student to prepare for the multitude of entrance examinations. The proposed reform attempts to bring focus back to the schooling system by giving weightage to performance in Class XII Board examinations normalized on percentile basis. The reform would, in the longer term, have an impact on the quality of secondary education and enable better quality access.
The Joint Councils of IITs, NITs & IIITs considered various views that had emerged during the process of consultations. A strong body of opinion amongst the members of the Council was that the importance of the schooling system has to be revived in the larger public interest by giving due weightage to the performance of students in the Class XII Board examinations and at the same time maintaining the credibility and integrity of admissions to higher educational institutions. After detailed deliberations following consensus emerged:-
(i) A Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the undergraduate programmes in engineering would be conducted in two parts, JEE-MAIN and JEE-ADVANCED.
(ii) The Class XII Board/equivalent marks normalized on percentile basis through an appropriate formula plus the marks obtained in the JEE-MAIN examination, with equal weightage, would be used by IITs for purposes of gating/screening. Only a fixed number of candidates (five times the number of the seats for admission in the IIT system or a pre-fixed cut-off) screened on the basis of merit assessed on the basis of cumulative score of normalized School Board marks and performance in JEE-MAIN examination would be eligible to be considered for admission. The ranking for admission to undergraduate programmes in IITs would be based entirely on the performance in the JEE-ADVANCED examination from amongst the candidates screened through this process.
(iii) For all other Centrally Funded Institutions, there would be 40% weightage for performance in Class XII Board marks normalized on percentile basis through an appropriate formula, 30% weightage for performance in JEE-MAIN and 30% weightage in JEE-ADVANCED and a combined merit decided accordingly.
(iv) JEE-MAIN tests shall be multiple choice objective type paper whereas the nature and modalities of the JEE-ADVANCED shall be determined by the Joint Admission Board of IITs.
(v) The proposed changes will be effective from the year 2013 and both CFTIs and CBSE would work jointly.
(vi) The Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IIT system would have complete control on matters such as paper setting, evaluation and preparation of the merit list, etc. over the JEE-ADVANCED and CBSE would provide the administrative support for conduct of the examination. For the conduct of the JEE-MAIN examination an expanded Joint Admission Board shall be constituted including the NIT system, other CFTIs and State Government representatives in an appropriate manner. CBSE will provide the administrative and logistic support for the conduct of JEE-MAIN examination across the country.
(vii) The process of establishing co-ordination between COBSE & JAB-IITs for implementation of the core curriculum in sciences and maths across the CBSE, ICSE and State Boards shall be put in place immediately.
(viii) Those students who have appeared in the Class XII Board examinations in 2012 and wish to improve upon their performance can appear again for the Board examinations in 2013. CBSE and State Boards would make appropriate arrangements to facilitate this through a special dispensation.
(ix) The transparency processes established by the IIT system presently and in AIEEE-2012 shall be adopted for the JEE-MAIN and JEE-ADVANCED too.
A meeting of State Education Ministers’ is proposed for 5th June where the participation of States in the common national test process would be deliberated upon. States would have the freedom to join in the process and have the autonomy to determine their own relative weightages to normalized Class XII Board marks, performance in JEE-MAIN and JEE-ADVANCED.