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Updated: February 4, 2010 19:53 IST

Panel formed to suggest improvements to IIT-JEE

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File photo of Damodar Acharya, Director, IIT Kharagpur. Photo: Anu Pushkarna
File photo of Damodar Acharya, Director, IIT Kharagpur. Photo: Anu Pushkarna

The government on Thursday set up a committee to suggest reforms in the IIT entrance examination but did not take any decision on the proposed fee hike in the elite institutes.

At a brainstorming session on IITs, chaired by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal, a committee was set up under IIT Kharagpur Director Prof. Damodar Acharya to study the existing JEE structure and suggest improvement in it.

The committee will submit its report in three months, a Human Resource Development Ministry official said. It is expected to suggest on how to consider the Class XII marks of students while preparing the cut-off for the admission into these 15 elite institutes.

At present, the IITs are taking students on the basis of cut-off prepared in view of the marks scored by students in IIT Joint Entrance Examination. Consideration of Class XII marks in the cut-off would ensure that meritorious students get into the IIT stream.

The meeting, attended by the IIT directors and chairpersons, however, did not take any decision on the proposal to increase the tuition fee of students to make the institutes self-sufficient.

Mr. Sibal suggested that as the government is planning to set up a Higher Education Funding Corporation, which would provide assistance to poor students. The proposal on fee hike would be discussed after the corporation is set up.

IIT Kanpur had prepared a detailed proposal on hiking the tuition fee. At present, B.Tech students are paying Rs 50,000 per year as fee. The proposal suggested increasing the fee to Rs 4 lakh per annum over a period of ten years.

At the last meeting of IIT Council, the apex body to decision on IIT issues, discussions were held on giving more weightage to marks obtained in school-leaving examinations while selecting students.

At Thursday’s meeting, Mr. Sibal asked the IITs to indicate in four weeks about the specialised area they want to focus on to emerge as global giants in that area by 2020, the official said.

The new IITs will consider their roadmaps in two months time. The IITs will give roadmap on how to attract world-class faculty from within and outside the country to meet the faculty shortage. The IITs are suffering from about 30 per cent faculty shortage.

The institutes will also suggest how to expand their infrastructure incrementally. A committee under Prof. Anand Krishnan was set up to study this issue and give recommendations.

Suggestions were also made to have a structured credit transfer system in the IITs to enable students of IITs to migrate to other institutes.

Mr. Sibal asked the IITs to explore setting up a secretariat for their marketing.

The government also set up a separate committee under IIT Guwahati Director Prof. Gautam Baruah to suggest improvement in the governance in the IITs, the official said.

This committee will study the relationship of the IITs with the government and suggest how to have better correlation.

Mr. Sibal asked the IITs how they could increase their linkages to school children and with technical institutions and universities.

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