Urging union HRD Minister Kapil Sibal to reconsider his move to change the existing eligibility criteria in the IIT joint entrance test, Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar on Tuesday said the new proposal will discriminate against students with poor socio-economic status.

In a letter faxed to Sibal today, Mr. Kumar said, “Such proposals will favour students with elite background and discriminate against students with poor socio-economic status.

Any examination system should be inclusive. Any change in the existing examination system will have far reaching consequences, which is unwarranted.”

Mr. Sibal had mooted a new proposal on Monday, whereby a student would have to secure at least 80 per cent marks in the class 12 Board examinations as compared to the present requirement of 60 per cent for sitting in the IIT-JEE test.

Requesting Mr. Sibal to reconsider the proposed change in the existing examination system, the chief minister said students from backward regions of the country would be the most affected by the new proposal.

“In the existing system, larger pool of students with different socio-economic background are able to appear in the entrance examination. This explains better performance of students from backward regions in the IIT examination,” he added.