Friday, September 10, 2010

State education boards oppose IIT-JEE reform plan

Many state education boards have rejected the proposal of giving weightage to class XII marks for admission to IITs on the ground that each board has its own standard of examination and way of evaluation which cannot be put on a par with others. The report on JEE reforms, prepared by a committee headed by IIT Kharagpur's Director Damodar Acharya, will come up for discussion during the IIT Council meeting on Friday and it remains to be seen how the issue will be resolved. The Acharya committee had said that the admission would be based on the class XII marks as well as the marks scored in an aptitude test and an add-on test, based on subjective questions.

The state boards of Bihar, Uttar Pradesh and many northern states have said there is a great deal of variation in evaluation that cannot be resolved through the process of normalization. Explaining problems with normalization, a senior official of the Uttar Pradesh Board said, "The process of normalization will result in many state boards inflating marks of children." He gave the example of BITS Pilani that gave up the system of direct admission after normalizing marks of students from all over the country. The reason, the UP official said, was that BITS realized that 70% of its students were coming from one state. Finally, BITS started taking students through its own entrance examination called BITSAT. Now direct admission is limited to state board toppers. He pointed out that even IIT-GATE, UPSC-Civil Services have discarded normalization of marks because it cannot be done effectively.

But Acharya's ideas have found favour with the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) and the state boards of Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh. An official of the AP board said, "The proposal by Acharya will be good for students and less stressful."

Source: The Times of India, September 10, 2010

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