Faculty federation calls on PM

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Friday promised that the autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will remain “intact,” according to the All-India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIITFF).

Dr. Singh gave the assurance to a delegation of the federation that met him to apprise him of the situation arising out of the Centre's announcement last month of a common entrance test for all undergraduate engineering courses.

The federation is opposed to the plan. “We explained each of our points to the Prime Minister. He has told us he will talk to [the] HRD Minister and assured [us] that the autonomy of the IITs will remain intact,” AIIITFF secretary A.K. Mittal told journalists.

The federation sought Dr. Singh's intervention to ensure that there was no change in the examination pattern in 2013, allow the IIT Senates to decide on admissions (considering all aspects like the format of examination and modalities) and to maintain the IITs' academic autonomy.

The federation has been maintaining that a joint test will undermine the IITs'autonomy.

Mr. Mittal said: “We also insisted that any change in the entrance test should be effected only after 2013.”

On giving weightage to board marks after the process of normalisation for preparing the merit list, the federation said: “Normalisation of board marks needs more studies.''