New Delhi, Jan. 6: The Indian Institutes of Technology may continue to turn their nose up at it but the all-India Joint Entrance Examination (Main) has gained more converts among the state governments.
The exam, which determines admission to all centrally funded engineering colleges apart from the IITs, will be adopted by three more states.
Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Odisha will scrap their own engineering entrance exams and start admitting students to tech schools within their borders, whether private or government-run, on the basis of their JEE Main scores.
Maharashtra has 729 engineering colleges, Madhya Pradesh has 285 and Odisha 199.
Other than the national merit list, state-specific merit lists for each of the states that have adopted the JEE Main will be published.
Gujarat, Haryana and Uttarakhand had adopted the exam last year; Bengal is likely to do so from next year.
Two lakh more students than last year have signed up for this year’s JEE Main, to be conducted in April.
On the last date for receiving applications for the exam, the Central Board of Secondary Education — which conducts it — today said that 13.53 lakh candidates would take the test.
“The (April) test will be held at 150 centres against 85 centres last year,” Central Board of Secondary Education chairperson Vineet Joshi told The Telegraph. He said the exam would be held in Urdu and Marathi apart from English and Hindi.
The Union human resource development ministry has requested all the states to adopt the JEE Main.
Apart from the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Indian Institutes for Information Technology too select students through the JEE Main.
However, the IITs are not keen to adopt the JEE Main. They select their students solely on the basis of a JEE Advanced test after using the JEE Main as a filter.
Only the top 1.5 lakh students from the JEE Main are allowed to take the JEE Advanced.
The ministry plans to ask the IITs to abandon the JEE Advanced from 2015 and select students entirely through the JEE Main. But these institutes’ faculty are likely to oppose any such suggestion.
They are also expected to contest another ministry directive: to hold common counselling with the NITs so that students cannot block seats in both sets of colleges, a practice that led to 600-odd seats going empty last year.