Will IITs accept admission through ISEET
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Will IITs accept admission through ISEET

Will ISEET come from 2013 or not, That is the question everybody is asking. Will IITs accept admission through ISEET is a matter of concern for the MHRD.

The senate bodies of most Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are of the opinion that the proposed reforms (ISEET) in IIT admissions be postponed for at least two years. This is most likely to force the government heads to postpone admission reforms for a year that is 2014.

The senate of IIT Kanpur and the faculty associations in Delhi, Mumbai and Kharagpur have met over the past two weeks and decided that the IITJEE should continue in its present form in 2013.

The Minister for Human Resource Development Kapil Sibal wants to bring in sweeping changes in admission to undergraduate engineering programme in the country from 2013 and to give 40% weight-age to board examination marks as part of the IIT admission reforms.

  • There are broadly 2 issues on which the IITs disagree with government: the ISEET question paper will only consist of multiple choice questions and assigning weight-age to class XII board marks.
  • The IITs also want that they should be authorized to conduct the ISEET entrance test however; government has proposed CBSE to conduct the eligibility test.
  • Since 2005, when the JEE system was abruptly changed to objective type testing, faculty members agree that there has been a qualitative degradation in the quality of intake. This became a matter of serious concern as the whole process was being changed without consulting the stake holders who have worked hard to build the IIT brand. The faculty of the IITs who had toiled since inception over the last 40 years and the students, who are the present alumni, had been completely ignored in the decisions being taken on this subject. Fortunately, because of efforts by the stakeholders this is being reviewed.
  • The IITs disagree that high weight-age should be given to class XII marks during admission to IITs. The HRD ministry’s proposal for using a statistical formula for generalizing the class XII marks is not approved by IITs.
  • The IITs argue that the formula recommended for factoring in class XII marks for selection would not help IITs to admit the talented minds. The evaluation system is different for different school boards and thus it is not possible to assess every student using same weight-age and scale.

According to news papers and sources, the senates of IITs Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur and Khargapur are firm in their opinion that bringing about any change in IITJEE from 2013 would not be pragmatic. The senates feel that there should be a margin of at least two years before the actual implementation of the reforms. IIT Delhi senate, proposed that the number of students, who would qualify the exam, could be around five times the total number of seats, but the final selection would depend on a student’s merit and performance in a separate exam that would be thought tending to cause resentment, theoretical and not based on multiple-choice answers. The senate was of the view that besides qualifying the common engineering exam, a student should secure around 80% marks in the board exam. This, they feel, will ensure students don’t neglect board examinations.

The HRD ministry had consultations with different stake holders last month and had asked the senates of different IITs to give their recommendation before May. It may be recalled that the MHRD had proposed scrapping of the IIT-JEE in favour of a combined national entrance test ISEET, and giving 40 per cent weight-age to the candidate’s board exam marks during selection. However, faced with opposition from the IIT faculties, the ministry decided to allow the matter to be debated at the institutes before a final decision was taken in June. First, the issue was to be discussed at each of the seven older IITs’ faculty association, then at each IIT’s senate and then at the IIT Council.

A member of IIT Delhi’s faculty forum, whose executive body met this week, explained how the two-tier exam system would work. “Since the IITs together have nearly 11,000 seats, the top 55,000 qualifiers in the combined national entrance test will be allowed to appear in the IIT-JEE,” he said. “To ensure that the students do not neglect their board exam, their board performance will be an eligibility criterion for appearance in the IIT-JEE.”

The IIT Kanpur senate, made up by the institute’s professors, and the IIT Bombay faculty association have taken the same decisions. The general body of IIT Kharagpur’s faculty association met last month and decided that the IITJEE should continue in its current form for the next few years. The HRD ministry had set up two committees — one headed by IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya and another by science and technology secretary T. Ramasami — to suggest reforms of the IITJEE. Both committees suggested the introduction of 40 per cent weight-age to Class XII board marks apart from holding a test in Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry. The ministry then proposed a single national-level test ISEET from 2013, replacing the IITJEE and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE), for admission to about 100 Centrally-funded engineering colleges and institutes, including the IITs, National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). Scores in that exam were to carry 60 per cent weight-age.

IIT faculties, however, differed and met HRD minister Kapil Sibal earlier last month. Sibal then said the proposal for the combined national test (ISEET) had to be debated at the senates of all the IITs. The ministry will this month hold a meeting of the IIT Council, the institutes’ apex decision-making body, where the views of all the senates will be considered. The final decision will be taken by the Central Advisory Board of Education, the apex advisory body on education.

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