Calcutta, Sept. 17: The new selection procedure for the Joint Entrance Examination and a question paper format to reduce stress on students was finalised today.
The Joint Admissions Board of the Indian Institutes of Technology met to iron out kinks in the recommendations made by a task force to overhaul the exam system.
Starting next year, students proposing to take the JEE will have to secure 60 per cent marks or a first division in the Class XII board exam (55 per cent for SC/STs). They will be allowed only two attempts to clear the exam, the syllabus for which will be tied up with the Plus Two.
“We are making just one exception for JEE 2006. We will allow candidates to sit for the test irrespective of marks secured or the number of earlier attempts, subject to their satisfying the age criterion,” IIT Madras director M.S. Ananth, also the board’s spokesman, said.
Announcing April 9 as the date for JEE 2006, IIT Kharagpur director S.K. Dube said the new exam format would evaluate students’ aptitude and analytical skills and would be introduced next year itself.
According to the new format, students will have to write three question papers of two hours each in physics, chemistry and mathematics. Questions will be set keeping the Plus Two syllabus in mind.
Ravi Mathur, joint secretary in the Union human resource development ministry, said the government would honour the IITs’ views and not interfere with the new exam system.
He was present at the meeting attended by directors of all seven IITs, Institute of Technology ' Benaras Hindu University and the Indian School of Mines, Dhanbad.
“We want students with raw intelligence who don’t need help from coaching institutes to write answers. That’s why we think even the new systems should be overhauled every three years,” Ananth said, explaining the rationale for the new format.
Apart from quality, the IITs are pressing for variety among students. They would like 25 per cent of the post-graduate seats to be opened to foreign students.
“We also want 10 per cent of the faculty from abroad. We have given the suggestions, now the government will have to take a call on it,” Ananth said.
The Centre has plans to increase the intake of students at the IITs, though no final decision has been taken yet.
“We want to increase the number of students in the IITs. That’s why we have decided to substantially increase plan expenditure on these institutes,” Mathur said.
The government spends about Rs 700-800 crore on the IITs, which train some 4,000 students across seven institutes.
“The government has already identified seven institutes which would be upgraded to IITs. We will increase funding for the 18 national institutes of technology to create a second tier of institutes,” he added.