To follow IIT Kanpur model

IIT Delhi has decided to reject the government’s plan to hold a common entrance test for all undergraduate engineering courses, and will instead conduct its own entrance examination next year.

Following more than two hours of discussions on Thursday evening, the Senate of IIT Delhi unanimously resolved to reject the government proposal as it “impinges on the autonomy of IIT Delhi.”

Cleared by council

The plan for a single test was approved by the IIT Council as well as the councils of the IIITs and NITs last month. However, the IIT Delhi Senate resolution said those decisions, which were against its own stated position, were “academically unsound and procedurally untenable.”

Instead, the Senate decided to follow IIT Kanpur’s lead and hold its own admission test next year. “For the year 2013, the IIT Delhi shall admit students to its undergraduate programmes through an examination, which will be on a pattern similar to the one used in IIT JEE 2012,” said the resolution.

It added that the Senate chairman would appoint a committee, which would “coordinate the conduct of the above examination jointly with other IITs to the extent possible.”

Sources in the Senate indicated that the other IITs — several of which are due to have their own Senates discuss the government’s proposal soon — would be encouraged to join hands with the Delhi and Kanpur institutes.

So far as 2014 and beyond is concerned, a committee constituted by the Senate chairman would be asked to review the IIT-JEE itself, said the resolution.

Sibal’s insistence

The IIT Delhi Senate’s decision comes a day after Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal insisted that the government would not roll back its proposal to hold a single entrance examination, and also take Class 12 board examinations into account in the admission process.

A section of faculty and alumni has vociferously opposed the proposal, claiming that it would dilute the standard of the IIT’s admission process.

There has been speculation about a compromise after the Prime Minister told members of the All India IIT Faculty Federation last week that the autonomy of the IITs would not be diminished. However, with the government holding firm to its stance so far, the IIT Delhi Senate decided to make its own rejection official.