New Delhi, June 23: A compromise offer by Kapil Sibal that IIT teachers had refused to consider because of its informal nature may now be made official to try and settle the dispute over admission reforms.
The idea is to drop the planned weightage to admission seekers’ Class XII board marks — a sticking point with the teachers — if the faculty-dominated institute senates agree to have the new JEE from next year.
The Joint Admission Board (JAB), made up by all the IIT directors, today officially proposed the compromise, which will now be considered by the IIT Council on Wednesday.
If the council clears it, the proposal will gain a formal status that will remove the teachers’ objections to discussing it. In principle, the faculty should have no problems with the proposal’s contents, which mark a victory for them.
However, the compromise may face some opposition from a minority within the council, which is headed by human resource development minister Sibal and includes all the IIT chairpersons and directors.
If the council clears the proposal — which apparently came from Sibal following a nudge from the Prime Minister after the teachers met him — it will be sent to the IIT senates for approval.
Under the compromise solution, the board marks will continue to be an eligibility criterion for admission, but the current cut-off of 60 per cent aggregate marks will go. Instead, candidates will have to finish within a certain percentile of the topper’s score.
Initially, it was suggested this should be the top 20 percentile but this is likely to be resisted by boards such as the CBSE because it might deny IIT admission even to students scoring as high as 75 per cent, sources said. So, the JAB has left the percentile to be finalised by the council.
A further concession the JAB has ticked officially is that the IITs can hold the JEE Advanced, the second round of the entrance exam, on a separate date after the CBSE-conducted first-round test, the JEE Main.
Among those likely to oppose the compromise at the council is IIT Bombay chairman Anil Kakodkar, a supporter of the originally mooted reforms which he says were well thought out.
“The new JEE pattern has been decided after a thorough process of discussions and analysis. The idea is that under the present system, students are neglecting their school examination and only concentrating on the IIT-JEE. This should not happen,” he said.
Kakodkar argued that the IIT faculty’s concerns were exaggerated since the board marks were to receive weightage only during a preliminary screening and not during the final selection.
Under the original council decision of May 28, equal weightage was to be given to candidates’ scores in their board exam and the JEE Main to shortlist 50,000 students for the 9,500-odd IIT seats.
The final selection, however, was to be based entirely on their JEE Advanced scores, which alone would determine the examinees’ all-India ranking.
If the compromise solution is accepted, the preliminary screening will be done entirely on the basis of the candidates’ scores in the JEE Main.