Saturday, April 07, 2012

500,000 aspirants to sit for IIT-JEE in 2012

In 2008, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) opened themselves to the world; looking for some diversity on campus, they travelled to Dubai and held their brutally competitive Joint Entrance Exam (JEE) there. But the fifth edition of this exam there has nothing to boast about: Candidate count has been around the same; in fact it has fallen this year to 186. In the previous years, students signing up to take the JEE from Dubai hovered around 200 to 220.

On Sunday, this small bunch of students will be joined by another 506,000 teenagers in India for whom taking the JEE has become a staple for signing up for an engineering education. Overall, candidate numbers are up from last year's 486,000 and the IITs have increased the exam centres to 1,067 this year. But this exam will also probably be the last of the JEEs as we know it. There are close to 9,590 seats spread across 15 IITs and competition will be stiff with 53 candidates battling it out for one seat.

GB Reddy, JEE Chairman, said, "Students are supposed to use a black ball point pen this year and not a pencil. The minimum score that a candidate must get to secure a rank has also been declared." This year, the IITs have mandated that general category students must get a minimum aggregate score of 35% and at least 10% in each of the individual sections for being on the rank list. Similarly, OBC students must get at least 9% in individual sections and 31.5% in the overall score; for SC/ST, the minimum to be bagged in each section is 5% and 17.5% must be the minimum aggregate to be on the rank-list.

For the last few years, the IITs have had the highest number of students qualifying from the IIT-Bombay zone; it remains to be seen if the new rules on scoring will change that. Under the Bombay zone, student numbers have gone up in Mumbai and Navi Mumbai, forcing the IITs to set up additional exam centres, but Pune has seen a drop in applicant numbers. The count of exam centres is up from last year's 47 to 54 across Maharashtra, with two new centres in Akola and one each in Solapur, Kolhapur and Ratnagiri.

Source: The Times of India, April 7, 2012

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