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Updated: June 6, 2013 14:38 IST

TN uneasy over scrapping JEE

Vasudha Venugopal
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Awaiting result. File photo
The Hindu
Awaiting result. File photo

Education ministers and officials from various States will meet in New Delhi on Wednesday to decide whether to adopt the common aptitude-cum-advanced knowledge test proposed by the Ministry of Human Resource Development for admission to engineering institutions in their respective States.

The test proposes to replace the IIT Joint Entrance Examination and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination and other entrance tests of engineering institutions affiliated to the Central Government, in 2013.

Currently, various state boards and institutions, including the IITs, conduct at least 150 entrance exams every year. As per the proposal, 40 percent weightage during the admission process will be based on the student's ‘percentile rank' in Class XII examination and 60 percent on the score in the test that will most likely have questions on aptitude, logical and critical reasoning, English, and science subjects.

“Directors of all 42 school boards have agreed to comply by this test, which would require them to release results in the computerised format by June every year. This would not only reduce the dependence of students on coaching classes but also encourage them to focus more on Class XI and Class XII syllabus in schools,” says former Anna University vice-chancellor M. Anandakrishnan, now the chairman of IIT-Kanpur and part of the IIT governing council.

He says a tested and verified formula designed by Indian Statistical Institute (ISI), Kolkata will be applied to school board results to normalise the evaluation which will convert his percentage of marks into a percentile.

But Tamil Nadu, say sources, is unlikely to agree to the test, for it was just six years ago that it scrapped the entrance exam to professional courses to enable more students from rural background join engineering education. But the move has not only created apprehensions among students who have already started their JEE preparations a year ago, but also among coaching institutes who think they will have to revamp their course structures now.

K. Ravi, a city-based JEE trainer, says: “The normalisation will only take care of the ranks, but on which board syllabus will the questions be based? If they are too easy, it will be a cakewalk for CBSE students, and if they are very tough, again, the CBSE students would benefit.”

This seeming paradox is not all, says Jayaprakash Gandhi, an education consultant: “We had nearly 3,000 students from the State Board getting full marks in maths last year, and 160 scoring full marks in science subjects. The board exams need to be revamped to test the subject knowledge of the student and not just his memory skills."

“While students with good marks in board exams will still have to do well in the test to get into IIT and a branch of their choice, the ones with relatively less marks in school can still make it to the IITs by focusing on the test,” says R. Prabhu, professor, Anna University. The test, he says, will help improve results of first year engineering students: as of now, only 40 percent of them clear all papers.

But the emphasis on aptitude questions, as proposed in the test, may restrict the need to delve further into the subject, say some teachers. Gita Prabhu of AIMS Education feels that not every one who undergoes JEE coaching actually does so rigorously.

“Many go for foundation courses to get the approach to problem-solving right. Teachers in many State Board schools cannot manage without ‘worked out' solutions, and the students have no choice but to depend on coaching classes,” she said.

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Vasudha VenugopalJune 28, 2012

As long as the process is unbiased to a particular region or a group of people, etc, it is fine. Before they implement any such thing, every student must be made aware of the format of the test, and a formal coaching must be given for the students in the class room itself.

When I wrote my first aptitude test in 1978 for a job in a company, I scored zero out of 50; I was 2nd rank holder at MIT; but got zero in aptitude test! After the test, I asked my friends, "What are these stupid questions?". One of my friends explained to me for two minutes. The very next day, I scored 100 out of 100 in the 'aptitude' test for a company which was much harder to enter.

The point is that it shouldn't be a surprise or unaware kind of tests. Students have various backgrounds, and the test should not affect any specific background(s) such as rural folks or uneducated parents, and so on. So, everyone must be made aware of the rules of the game.

Let the best ones pop up!

from:  C.Jeyabalan
Posted on: Feb 27, 2012 at 03:50 IST

treat 12th standard student as a developing student.
i wan't to ask mr. hrd minister & all the director of educational boards that is it fair for we students.we know that IIT exam is already have a high level,student have already a lot of hurdles.do you want to vanish them by increasing the subjects.after your decision,their subject load going to increase.they have to study PCM(physics,chemistry & math),have to concentrate on 12th exam also,also concentrate on aptitude,quantative,reasoning & english.
think at least comparing them with you by position you at them..

from:  kishor kunal
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 22:49 IST

I would like to request the concerned authorities to first try testing the suggested
scheme rather than directly implementing it. My suggestion is that in 2013, let the
students give the normal set of exams and a compulsory free trial exam which will
be based on the proposed scheme and then one can compare the results of both
and analyze the proposed scheme. The underlying assumption in this process is
that the authorities believe that the results of the present tests are fair and would
like to replicate that in the proposed test. Engineering does not work without trial
and testing and so should be the case with the tests for choosing the engineers. I
have failed to understand how can the authorities even think of bringing about
such a drastic change to the system at once without caring the least about the
impact on the future of so many students.

from:  Kritika Upreti
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 18:36 IST

What I strongly feel is class XI, Class XII should not be given weitage. See the dillema our govt. is unable to ensure quality in primary schools as well as teachers teaching overthere.

What I want to propose, is that our examination system should have common syllabus througout India. Society has the responsibility to build quality citizen in all area .I dont know why some states have reservation on this issue. I want to ask one question , is there any state which does nor require medical colleges, or world class Engineering institutes, which state donot require bridges/infrastructure to be created or health problem to be tackled, why some body opposing this common syllabus.

If at all any thing that should be given weightage is National science olympiad Test or NTSE. Structure should be made such that these test shoul be made available to all school childeren. And it should be made mandatory for reserved category to score minimum marks in olympiad to get benifit of resevation.

from:  Vineet K Srivastava
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 16:43 IST

Science subjects should only be the matter of concern for these entrance
examinations.Bihar arguably gives in the largest number of IITians every
year,but it should be noted that they are not best ones when it comes to
English.A lot of them who never went to an English medium school make it
to the best institutes in India.
The language for presenting their Science knowledge should be left to
students.Their English must not bother them.

from:  Rakesh Sagar
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 14:17 IST

Keeping different syllabus based economic status is similar to caste system in the country. How one can determine the ability of a child at the age of 6? Keep the Science and Math syllabus the same for all children, then think of a common test. Without a common syllabus thinking of conducting a common test is possible only for the people who dont have common sense.

from:  T.Subramanian
Posted on: Feb 26, 2012 at 09:16 IST

Please Law makers! Kindly allow some quality centers survive with quality!If you can not pull up everybody,do not try and pull down to create democratic socialism! Do not try and create averages! This is what our system all the time aims. Let accessability be aimed and attained. let this be a bell curve while large number of centers cater to the large population, with limited resources, let there be some nuclei of excellence around which the quality grows. I do not deny that from the so called average Institutions emerge some of the best scholars!As an educator in my life and as an IItian of 70s,I strongly support abolition of training centers,as these have swallowed the so called natural intelligence, originality and also has robbed students of their valuable time,creative energy and parents of their hard earned money.

from:  DR.RUKMANI SRINIVASAN
Posted on: Feb 25, 2012 at 23:04 IST

I disagree that the stress will reduce for students. Three points. First, an engineering aspiring student must be tested for his skill and aptitude for engineering. So subject test needs to be there. We dont want anybody to become an engineer and build bridges. Do we? Second, now there is another test on reasoning, logic, comprehension for which students will go to coaching institutions more since they have no idea. Third, Now is the season for those students who are awesome at memorising things. We had toppers in my university doing that. Why do you want to promote that by giving a lot of weightage? Now, in addition to test there is not only pressure on studying for board hard but to score is everything. Well, that may be a way to pass law by memorising things. One should really have farther vision to see things. OK. Thats too much to ask. isnt it?

from:  NARENDRA
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 22:57 IST

As one who has been in an IIT for nearly 40 years, I have seen the JEE papers becoming tougher over the years. In the first decade, it was not necessary to go to any coaching centres; in fact there were none in Madras then. The number of aspirants was also less. As a student, in 1954, I passed the entrance to the only IIT,namely, Kharagpur with my college preparation but did not join unable to foot the hostel bill. Over the years, on account of greater awareness and parental pressure, more students are taking to these exams and the filtering process has made the papers tougher. As a paper setter over this period, I can say that the papers require good understanding of the conepts. Much of the criticism that the candidates who get through are substandard and come through with `coaching' is only partially correct. The need for a single entrance test is laudable idea but the way in which this is being done appears to be fraught with its own problems.

from:  Dr S.Srinivasan
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 16:13 IST

It is high time that our country moves in for standardization of its
already battered educational system.clearly JEE should be preserved
intact , as pointed out by shri. Narayanamurthy(formerly Infosys) that
quality of students enrolling into the iits is going southward,no more
meddling with a previously good system should be done.2 things can be
attributed to the current downward trend 1)scrapping of subjective
papers (saying verbiages not needed)which has led to a significant
decline in the writing skills of the aspirants 2)optionalizing 10th
boards , students dont take learning seriously as their own schools
decide their passage to the intermadiate.in stead the focus should be
on good and understandable text and pedagogy.

from:  Akshay
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 15:43 IST

I hope they go ahead with this exam. To the people talking about the wonderful IITians-to-be and how we will deprive them: currently, we focus so much on undergraduate education as a country that our graduate system is creeping along slowly. Most of the IIT engineers take the first plane headed outside this country. What is the purpose in spending so much taxpayer money in educating them? It is better to spend taxpayer money on the educational institutions for improving graduate programs than running 150 entrance tests. It is better to provide good undergraduate education without glorifying it. As I have seen from most of my batchmates, most IIT undergrads, even quite a few of the "top rankers", stop studying after they get in, quit engineering and rush off to MBA programs. Glorify graduate education if you want to do competitive research - if you want India to produce the next efficient energy system to replace oil, rather than an IITian producing the same thing in a US research lab

from:  Jahnavi S
Posted on: Feb 24, 2012 at 15:38 IST

many states reluctant to joint entrance examination for medical
courses and cental govt has postponed the common entrance exam from
2012 to 2013. no of students appearing are much lower than to no of
students appearing for engg courses. conducting EAMCET exams in AP
alone become gigantic job and taking nearly six months to complete
entire procedure . Think of CET for the entire india which can be
compared with parliamentary elections conducted once in five years.

Instead of one cet reduce no of tests. Conduct one common entrance
exam for IITS and NIts and other associated institutions. Govt
should instruct all deemed universities give admissions on the basis
rank obtained from this common entrance exam. Thereby the stress on
the students and financial relief to parents

from:  mrkjprasad
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 22:07 IST

Its a very good decision. Now students shall not rush to Kota for mad problem solving . The really deserving students only shall get admission.
I still remember Piyush Srivastava of JEE 2005, he topped JEE, Topped ICSE, Topped AIEEE and got gold medal in Physics olympiad. and top it all he got presidents gold medal in Btech CS from Kanpur.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 12:09 IST

On one part, HRD minister has introduced percentage system in CBSE and on the other he is trying to introduce patterns like Aptitude and English in IIT and AIEEE exams whose main focus should be SCIENCE and nothing else. There are various candidates who come from rural backgrounds. However, the coaching system has maligned our educational institution. Despite making rules to make coaching systems ineffective govt is trying to play with the quality of Engineers these great institutions of India has produced.The main part of it 42 school boards have agreed. These schools Directors must be the puppet of Govt. Mr. HRD minister please think before you come out with an alternative.
Remember: Science is Science. Its not Engish. If you are able to solve the questions of IIT JEE, you have enough aptitude and those who not for them institutions, which they join, must play a vital role. Please leave something for MBAs. If this change would come, India is going to be cursed.

from:  Ethan
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 12:08 IST

It is very good to see all the changes but what will happen to the 11th class student those who have joined coaching classes at kota? Why the marking of different boards not get increased instead of using ISI system which may not be accepted by all the students of other boards,after the result. Instead of doing all these things,why we are not adopting the same syllabus across the nation?after all we are having democracy. It will create the equal opportunity to all,so that we can have a healthy and fruitful competition in this throat-cut competitive era and it will be fair to all. We should adopt the same.

from:  ABHINAV SHUKLA
Posted on: Feb 23, 2012 at 09:20 IST

On one side, Supreme Court orders the State Government to go for a Sub-standard Samacheer Kalvi and other side Union Government proposes common entrance exam. How can we have a common entrance test when the syllabus in each board varies?

Instead why not have a common syllabus across india? It is like having common entrance test for BE, BSc, BCom guys like the UPSC exams where mainly BE students fare well?

from:  Vijay
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 19:13 IST

Normalisation of Entrance Exams and State/Central board syllabi should go hand in hand. Every year students undergo mental torture because of frequent changes in examination pattern. Concerned authorities should come up with the best and feasible solution which benefits the student community at large.

from:  Nevedeta B
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 17:04 IST

I would like to ask prof. R. Prabhu that the main aim of this proposal is to increase the result in first year no matter what will happen after first year. In my opinion if this proposal is passed then quality will decrease drastically.

from:  Pawan
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 17:02 IST

This will make coaching institutes flourish more as at present they concentrate only on particular entrance exam and in future a single course in a good institute will ensure adminission in many institutions.

from:  ragunathan
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 13:55 IST

The entrance tests should focus on aptitude, not knowledge. If the colleges are ranked by an independent professional body, there would be no harm in letting the college faculty pick students based on a formula of their choice. After all, we clamour for autonomy of our educational institutions.

from:  Thomas George
Posted on: Feb 22, 2012 at 07:04 IST
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