Rejecting criticism and virtually ruling out going back on the new proposal, Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said here on Monday the government had no intent of impinging on the autonomy of the Indian Institutes of Technologies (IITs).

Defending the decision to have a nationwide common entrance test, which is being opposed by IIT Kanpur among others, Mr. Sibal said this had been taken in accordance with the IIT Act passed by Parliament.This was a unanimous decisions of the IIT Council, he added.

“There is no intent to impact on the IIT system autonomy.... the exam that is being contemplated is to be set by the IIT itself,” Mr. Sibal told reporters here when asked to comment on the controversy back home.

Mr. Sibal is leading a high-power Indian delegation to co-chair the India-U.S. education dialogue with the Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Sibal had on May 28 announced that from 2013, aspiring candidates for the IITs and other Central institutes like NITs and IIITs will have to sit under a new format of common entrance test, which will also take the plus-two board results into consideration.

The Minister had claimed that it was approved without dissent at a council consisting of the IITs, the IIITs and the NITs.

The Senate of the IIT-Kanpur has rejected the Centre's 'one-nation one-test' proposal and decided to conduct its own entrance exam from next year.

Mr. Sibal said that on his return, he would study the decisions being taken by the IIT Kanpur.

“This has nothing to do with the government,” he said noting that the decision has been taken in accordance with the IIT Act. This would have no impact on the quality of the education in IITs.

The Minister was responding to questions after delivering his speech ‘Education: U.S-India Collaboration' at an event organised jointly by the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a prestigious American think-tank based in Washington and Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI).

Keywords: JEE issueIITsKapil Sibal

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