Marks in Class XII Board examination will count

The joint entrance examination (JEE) for admission to the undergraduate engineering programmes will be held from the next academic year, with the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) managing a separate merit list for those aspiring to join them. The examination will also consider the marks obtained in Class XII Board examinations.

Announcing this here on Monday, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said a consensus was reached after deliberations spanning over two years. A meeting of the Joint Councils of the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the National Institutes of Technology (NITs), the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other Central educational institutions approved the common admission process with weightage to performance in the Class XII Board examinations.

The Senate and faculty of the IITs had resisted the plan, citing the standards of the institutions. But the problem was resolved, with the IITs having been allowed to maintain a separate merit list. However, this will be reviewed after 2015, when the IITs will also join the common merit list.

To be conducted by the IITs' Joint Admission Board (JAB), the test will be held in two parts on the same day — JEE main and JEE advanced.

The marks scored in the examinations of the Class XII Board or equivalent stream, normalised on a percentile basis, plus the marks obtained in the JEE-main test, with equal weightage, will be used by the IITs. Only a fixed number of candidates (five times the number of seats for admission in the IIT system or a pre-fixed cut-off) screened on the basis of merit, based on cumulative score, will be considered. The ranking for examination to undergraduate programmes in the IITs will be based on the performance in the JEE-advanced examination from among the candidates screened through this process.

For the other Centrally Funded Technical Institutions (CFTIs), there would be 40 per cent weightage for performance in Class XII, 30 per cent for JEE-main and 30 per cent for the JEE-advanced test and a combined merit decided accordingly. The JEE main test shall be a multiple choice objective-type paper, whereas the nature of the JEE advanced test will be determined by the JAB, which will also have complete control over academic matters. The Central Board of Secondary Education will give administrative support for the conduct of the examination.

Those who have appeared in the Class XII Board examinations in 2012 and wish to improve upon their performance can appear again for the Board examinations in 2013. The CBSE and the State Boards will make appropriate arrangements through a special dispensation.

At a meeting scheduled for June 5 to discuss the JEE, the State Education Ministers would be told that they would have the freedom to join the process and the autonomy to determine their own relative weightage to normalise the Class XII Board marks, performance in the JEE main and advanced tests, Mr. Sibal said.

Meanwhile, Super 30 founder Anand Kumar has said that despite the good intentions of the joint councils of the IITs, the NITs and the IIITs to have a common admission test, the complicated process could put students, especially those in rural areas, at a disadvantage.

The reform to bring focus back to the schooling system by giving weightage to performance in the Class XII Board examinations, normalised on a percentile basis, will pose a serious challenge, as there is a huge gulf between schools of the CBSE and ICSE Boards and those under the State Boards. The formula to be adopted for percentile calculation is not clear, as all State Boards follow different yardsticks.