IIT-Kharagpur Director's support for Centre's proposal draws fire
The ongoing row over the joint entrance examination for undergraduate engineering courses intensified on Sunday with the All India IIT Faculty Federation virtually rejecting the common test and expressing “shock'' over the IIT-Kharagpur Director's statement in support of it.
“The Director has made public statements which are in contradiction of the resolutions passed by the Senate of the IIT-Kharagpur. The resolutions did not recommend inclusion of board exam marks and the conduct of a joint entrance exam by a third party. The Senate said categorically that till 2014, no change should be made and status quo maintained,” A.K. Mittal, secretary of the Faculty Federation said in a statement here.
On Saturday, two Directors — Damodar Acharya of the IIT-Kharagpur and Gautam Barua of the IIT-Guwahati — backed the Human Resource Development Ministry's decision and criticised the IIT-Kanpur's Senate for its decision to hold a separate entrance test in 2013.
IIT-Kanpur Director Sanjay Dhande had backed the government plan, but the Senate overruled his decision.
However, Mr. Damodar Acharya told The Hindu that at a special meeting held on May 2, the Senate agreed to open the JEE to all other institutions which would like to use it; but it came with a rider: the policy decisions, including paper setting, model answer preparation, printing, evaluation and the merit list preparation should be under the control of the IITs through a Joint Admission Board (JAB).
The Senate wanted a common core syllabus in physics, chemistry and mathematics across the Boards, which was done through the COBSE (an apex body of all State Secondary Education Boards) and two years of lead time to examine the effect of the Board performance on the JEE ranking and the availability of Board exam results in time. It had already been agreed that for the final ranking, the inclusion of the Board's normalised score could be considered only in 2015.
“It may be noted that the proposed examination in two papers, JEE-main and JEE-advanced, are not very different from the current one. The perception that it will adversely affect the quality of input to IITs is without any basis. In fact, students with better Board performance will now get a chance to get into IITs. These students shall perform better than students who have cracked the JEE with poorer school performance, Prof. Acharya said.
The faculty of the IIT-Kharagpur also issued a statement, rejecting the Centre's decision. “The trust that the IIT-JEE has earned over the last five decades is due to the continuous evolution of processes and unflinching devotion of the faculty and staff of the IITs. Any test leading to ranking in IIT admissions must be wholly owned by the IITs,” it said.