Thursday, February 23, 2012

Entrance exams merged for technical institutes

Beginning 2013, all Union government-funded technical education institutes, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs), will admit students through a single entrance examination, Union human resource development minister Kapil Sibal said on Wednesday after a meeting with state education ministers.

With this, the government has formally merged the joint entrance examination (JEE) conducted by the IITs and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) held by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE). All the 30 National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and central technical universities will also adopt this national examination for admitting students. The CBSE will conduct the exam, called the joint entrance examination (JEE), and the IITs will design the test papers.

As the sole examination for all technical colleges at the undergraduate level, the JEE is expected to be the largest examination in the country with at least 1.5 million students expected to appear for it in 2013. At present, around 1.1 million take the AIEEE and nearly 500,000 sit for the IIT-JEE.

While admitting students, the colleges will have to give a maximum weight of 40% to school board marks and 60% weight to the national test. “We will normalize the state education boards class XII marks through a method already tested by the Indian Statistical Institutes,” Sibal said. Mint first reported this on Monday.

Students will get two chances to appear for the exam in the first year (2013) and the best score will be counted while applying for a seat. “Subsequently, the test will be held more number of times a year,” Sibal said. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), too, has announced a similar a common central examination for business schools from the coming academic session.

After detailed deliberations, “the proposal for a common national examination with effect from 2013 with weightage to state board results, normalized on the basis of a percentiles formula, was endorsed ‘in principle’ by states”, the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) said in a separate statement. “The states of Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry and West Bengal sought more time to study the proposal in detail. The states may decide on adopting the same pattern for admission to state-level engineering institutions with appropriate weightages as states may think fit,” the ministry added.

“We don’t see any problem with the normalisation process,” said CBSE chairman Vineet Joshi, adding that all state boards feel that they can declare their results by the end of May to facilitate admissions through the JEE. “The new engineering entrance (examination) is a step in the right direction,” said Satya Narayanan, chairman of coaching institute C.L. Educate, earlier known as Career Launcher. “It will help the student focus on academics as the new system allocates weightage to marks in XII board.”

Meanwhile, state education ministers unanimously decided to set up community colleges near industrial clusters to provide vocational training and create employment. To begin with, the country will open 100 such colleges in the 2012-13 academic year.

Source: Mint, February 23, 2012

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