Rejecting the demand to review the joint entrance examination for admission to undergraduate engineering courses in the centrally funded technical institutions, the government on Wednesday said it would go ahead with the proposed test in 2013.

The Indian Institute of Technology Delhi Alumni Association had met the new Human Resource Development Minister, M.M.Pallam Raju, last week and asked him to review the decision for including the Indian Institute of Technology (IITs) under the purview of the joint entrance examination (JEE).

``I reviewed the proposal after the Alumni Association met with me and realised it was in the interest of the students. It would be unfair for me to question the decision and we stand to implement it (JEE) in 2013,’’ Mr Raju told reporters here.

The IIT Alumni and Faculty Associations had opposed the joint admission test right from the beginning on the ground that it would dilute the standard of the institutions and have even met the Prime Minister on the issue. A delegation of the IIT Delhi Alumni Association had met Mr Raju on November 16 seeking his intervention in reviewing the proposal. The Minister had assured them he would study the proposal and get back to them within a week.

``I have examined the issue. It is a good system and we will stick to it. There may be initial hiccups but it will streamline eventually,’’ he said.

Based on the recommendations of Ramasami Committee Report which suggested a common national examination with weightage to State Board results normalised on the basis of percentile formula for admission to engineering institutions, the joint engineering examination had, however, been stiffly opposed by the IITs and after lot of deliberations managed to have an additional exam for selection to the IITs.

The JEE for admission to the undergraduate programme in engineering would be conducted in two parts: JEE-Main and JEE-advanced. JEE-advanced examination will be held after the JEE-Main with a suitable time gap. Only top 150,000 candidates (all categories) in JEE Main will be qualified to appear.

Admissions to IITs will be based only on category wise All India Rank (AIR) in JEE Advanced subject to the condition that such candidates are in the top 20 percentile of successful candidates of their Boards in applicable categories. The admission to NITs will be based on 40 per cent weightage for performance in Class XII Board marks normalised on percentile basis and the remainder 60 per cent weightage would be given for performance in JEE Main and a combined merit list would be decided accordingly.

The HRD Ministry has also decided not to grant any extension to States to fully roll out the provisions of the Right to Education (RTE) Act. The deadline for full implementation of the Act ends on March 2013.

``We are committed to meeting the deadline. We will work with the States lagging behind in the implementation,’’ Mr Pallam Raju said while admitting that there was shortage of teachers, infrastructure was woefully inadequate and there were issues over mid day meals following the government’s decision to increase the price of cooking gas.

``However, we will work with the States in overcoming these challenges. We will hold hands, coax, threaten and eventually work with them,’’ the Minister explained though he did not spell out any plan of action to achieve the goal. ``Our will is the plan to meet the challenge,’’ he said.

``We would not like to extend the deadline and neither have any States demanded any extension though many States do face genuine problems related to infrastructure development and recruitment of teachers. There is a shortage of 13.5 lakh teachers at school level.

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