Monday, 30th October 2017

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NIT board marks relook

A panel formed by the government to review the system of admitting BTech students in NITs has suggested scrapping the weightage given to board marks, setting the stage for a possible reversal of the initiative that had laid stress on schooling.

By Basant Kumar Mohanty
  • Published 10.09.15
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New Delhi, Sept. 9: A panel formed by the government to review the system of admitting BTech students in NITs has suggested scrapping the weightage given to board marks, setting the stage for a possible reversal of the initiative that had laid stress on schooling.

Under the existing system, 40 per cent weightage is given to board marks and 60 per cent to the JEE-Main score.

But the panel, at a meeting last week, concluded that the standard of school boards had deteriorated and private coaching had increased since the system was started two years ago.

Curbing the impact of private coaching on engineering entrance tests was one of the reasons the new system was started. Another objective was to widen the scope for rural students. If the government eventually accepts the suggestions of the panel, set up by the HRD ministry, the initiative would trace a full circle.

The panel will meet again next week to draft a report. On October 1, HRD minister Smriti Irani will chair a meeting of the NIT Council, the top body on matters related to the 31 National Institutes of Technology, to take a final decision.

Two members of the panel, which includes IIT Bombay director Devang Khakhar and NIT Patna director Asok De, said the committee was unanimous that the weightage system should be scrapped. "The standard of the majority of the boards has gone down. The distribution of marks suggests a sizable number of students securing marks above the mean or average, which normally does not happen," one member told The Telegraph.

Normally, in a board exam, the scores of most students are around the average mark. In the last three years, however, boards have been flexible in marking average students, helping them score over 90 per cent, although below-average students have continued to get low marks.

NIT Rourkela director Sunil Sarangi didn't agree with the panel members. "Weightage to board marks was making students take their school education seriously," he said, adding that scrapping the weightage was "not the right" solution.

If there is no other option, he said, the JEE-Advanced - that IIT aspirants need to crack - could be considered for admitting NIT students too.