The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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IIT test tied to board result

New Delhi, Sept. 12: The human resource development ministry today announced a string of reforms of the joint entrance examination for admission to IITs to lower the stress on aspiring candidates.

By implication, it hopes also to curb the growth of mushrooming coaching centres that charge massive tuition fees.

From next year, students wanting admission to IITs will have to get at least 60 per cent in their 12th board examination.

The present admission system does not prescribe any qualifying marks for students appearing for the exam, known as JEE. Students can get admission if they pass the two levels of JEE tests ' first a screening and then the main examination.

They can get admission even if the school-leaving board exam score is 40 per cent.

From next year, the board exam result will be the first criterion, followed by only one entrance test instead of two.

“There will be only one JEE examination and that will be the main test,” said a human resource development ministry official. “The main idea is to reduce the stress of two examinations on the student.”

Students, however, will be under pressure to score a minimum of 60 per cent in the board examination.

“What is happening at present is that students are neglecting their school education and solely concentrating on tuition in the coaching centres. We want the students to take the board examination seriously. It helps the overall development of personality,” said a ministry official.

Nearly two lakh candidates appear for the JEE screening test. Of this, about 20,000 make it to the main examination.

Ministry officials say JEE reforms are part of the government’s effort to lessen the burden on students. Even the question papers for the JEE main test will be different.

“It will be an objective paper that could include short write-ups on physics, chemistry,” said an official. “The direction of the question papers will be more analytical and comprehensive as opposed to the present emphasis on numerical,” he added.

The new rules also bar a student from appearing for the JEE more than twice. “Now, someone can keep trying as long as they want,” said an official.

Besides, students will be prohibited from shifting from one IIT to another or from shifting courses. Now, a student, after getting into Kanpur IIT, can still try for admission to a more high-profile IIT.

“Students also try to shift courses after they get admission. A student, for example, who has got admission in a metallurgy course may try to change to mechanical engineering which has better market value,” said an official.

This will no longer be permitted.

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