The Telegraph
Thursday , February 13 , 2014
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IIT aspirants want what IAS hopefuls have

- Call for additional attempt to crack entrance exam gains ground

The demand for additional attempts to crack the IIT entrance test has started gaining momentum after the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC)’s recent decision to give the civil service aspirants two more chances.

Students preparing for the IIT entrance test want the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) administration to follow suit and increase the number of attempts. At present, IIT aspirants get two chances for clearing arguably the toughest entrance test in the country.

Ravish Raj, a student preparing for the IIT-JEE, said: “The number of chances to clear the IIT-JEE test should be increased to at least three. Several students who have the calibre to clear the IIT-JEE test fail to get admission to IITs because they get just two chances to clear the exam.”

He claimed that many students from rural areas take almost a year to understand the format of the IIT entrance exam after joining a reputable school, college or coaching institution in Patna after clearing their matriculation examination. It normally takes two years for an aspirant to get into the mould. “But if they fail to clear the test in the first two attempts, all the hard work is lost,” Ravish said. Echoing him, another IIT aspirant, Harimohan Pandey, said: “Under the new format, weightage is given to the board examination results. Thus, just two chances for clearing the IIT-JEE do not help the aspirants much.”

Under the new format for the admission to IITs, NITs, and other centrally-funded institutions, aspirants’ score in the Class XII board examination gets 40 per cent weightage and 60 per cent weightage is given to their performance in the JEE main examination.

Anand Kumar, the founder of Super30, is also in favour of increasing number of chances for clearing the IIT-JEE test. On the lines of the UPSC move, Kumar has been demanding more chances for students from underprivileged sections in the rural areas, who do not get the advantage of quality schooling and often start their preparations late.

“More opportunities will help reduce the urban-rural divide and bright students from rural areas would get a chance to prove their mettle,” he said.

The Super30 founder had met former HRD minister Kapil Sibal twice in 2010 and 2012 and had also discussed with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh the issue of increasing the number of attempts to clear the IIT-JEE test. He has written a letter to the Union human resource development ministry, requesting it to take the initiative to increase the number of attempts for JEE aspirants as the UPSC has done for the civil service aspirants.

The IAS aspirants have inevitably hailed the move to increase the number of attempts they can make to clear the civil services examination. Satish Patel, a research scholar at Patna University, told The Telegraph: “Aspirants who missed the merit list by a whisker in their last attempt would benefit the most from the decision.”

The recent government order would especially benefit those aspirants who have exhausted their four attempts and running 30 years of age. “Such aspirants will get two more attempts till 32 years of age,” a senior official said.

There is no restriction on the number of attempts by candidates belonging to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes. As many as seven attempts are permissible to an aspirant belonging to Other Backward Classes (OBCs), according to a notification issued for Civil Services Examinations, 2013.

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