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Call for subjective-type JEE Advanced

New Delhi, July 3: The JEE Advanced will be a subjective-type test if the IIT teachers have their way.

Most of the IIT senates want the JEE Advanced examinees to solve problems on the answer sheets rather than merely choose the correct answer from multiple options, which leaves room for lucky guesswork.

“Senate members in IIT Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur, Roorkee and Madras are in favour of a subjective-type test,” an IIT Faculty Federation official told The Telegraph. The senates in Guwahati and Kharagpur have not taken any view yet.

“The IIT Madras senate members want a machine-readable subjective-type test while those of the other four institutes favour manual evaluation. The final decision will be taken by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) in consultation with the IITs,” the official said.

In a machine-readable subjective-type test, the examinees will have to blacken a set of bubbles to indicate the correct answer.

“For example, if the answer to a mathematical problem is 100, the student will have to blacken bubbles to suggest 100. This method is tamper-proof and avoids problems arising out of manual evaluation,” IIT Madras senate president Sarit Kumar Das said.

An IIT Kharagpur senate member too said that holding a subjective-type test with manual evaluation for 1.5 lakh students might be difficult. The senate may, therefore, oppose the idea of allowing 1.5 lakh students to take the JEE Advanced.

“The IITs have about 10,000 seats. The earlier idea was that about 50,000 candidates would be selected from the JEE Main. Now they have made it 1.5 lakh. Our senate could oppose it,” the member said.

The JAB will meet next month to finalise the JEE Advanced format, but before that the IIT senates will be asked for their final views. The IITs used to follow a two-step JEE about 10 years ago, with an objective-type test followed by a subjective one.

Senate members of certain IITs are unhappy with the eligibility cut-off that says a student must figure within the top 20 percentile from his Class XII board to qualify for an IIT seat. This, they believe, is “unfair” to students who have already taken their Class XII exam this year and want to appear in the JEE next year.

The boards have been told to let these students take the Class XII exam next year again if they want to improve their scores. But many students unhappy with their board marks this year have ruled this option out, saying that appearing in the boards as well as the JEE next year would be difficult.

“The senates may suggest some tweaking to the 20 percentile formula to enhance it a bit or put it on hold for at least next year since it will be the transition year,” a faculty member said.