Monday, July 19, 2010

CET for IITs and engg institutes by 2011

The decision to conduct a single test or a common admission test (CET) for admission to the IITs and engineering institutes across the country, is likely to be finalised by the end of this year. While speaking to mediapersons after addressing the 56th annual convocation of IIT-Kharagpur, the Union human resource development minister, Mr. Kapil Sibal, said the panel of IIT directors, headed by IIT-Kharagpur Director, Prof. Damodar Acharya, will submit their report on conducting a common examination system by July, following which the ministry will go through their suggestions. "There have been many proposals and after going through the panel’s report, the ministry will choose the best suitable system", said Mr Sibal.

Mr. Sibal had appointed the panel to explore the possibility of replacing the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and other engineering exams held across the country with a single entrance test, with a focus on “general aptitude” and not knowledge of specific subjects. Mr. Sibal said there is a serious need to change the present examination system, where a student has to appear for 20 to 30 admission tests. Sitting for so many tests puts an enormous burden on the students and we cannot allow this to happen, he said.

Lashing out at the private coaching centres, Mr. Sibal said only rich families are able to send their wards to the coaching centres that prepare students for the IIT-JEE and this gives some students an additional advantage. But, students from poor families are not so privileged. Moreover, admitting students trained in coaching centres to the IITs is not the best way to get the best students, he added.

Mr. Sibal supported the views of Mr. B Muthuraman, Chairman of the Board of Governors over laying stress on research and postgraduate studies. During his convocation speech, Mr. Muthuraman had said that the old IITs like the IIT-Kharagpur should lay more stress on PG and research while the newly established IITs should focus on undergraduate studies.

Mr. Sibal laid the foundation stones of four buildings, Nalanda Academic Complex, Dr. B.R. Ambedkar Hall of Residence, Chanakya Hall of Residence and Gurukul-I. During the convocation ceremony, Doctor of Science (Honoris Causa) was awarded to Dr. Srikumar Banerjee, Chairman of Atomic Energy Commission, Prof. K.L. Chopra, scientist, Pandit Hari Prasad Chaurasia, flute maestro, Prof. Goverdhan Mehta, scientist and Mr. Shiv Nadar, HCL's founder chairman.

Source: The Statesman, July 18, 2010

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