This refers to the reported remark by Union Human Resource Development Minister that the eligibility for appearing in the IIT entrance examination should be raised from 60 per cent to 80 per cent and his subsequent statement that there is no such proposal. Any move to increase the eligibility will lead to increased stress on IIT aspirants. An open competition should be free from pre-conditions. If the mushrooming growth of coaching centres is to be checked, the examination pattern of IIT entrance should be made in tune with the XII standard syllabus. Another option is to give weightage to marks obtained in the school final examinations.
The IIT entrance test is among the toughest exams. It not only screens students but also tests their aptitude and their ability to reason. Marks obtained in the school final examinations are irrelevant to the test. Only corporate colleges will benefit if any effort is made to increase the eligibility criteria.
If the required percentage of marks for students appearing in the IIT entrance test is increased, we will find an increase in the number of students with blinkers — who have a narrow outlook. They will know nothing other than their subjects. Of what use is churning out such individuals? Scoring a high percentage at the XII standard level should not be the be all and end all in the life of a student.
It is not the IITs, the IIMs or the Class XII exams that need attention. It is the primary and middle level education that needs to be looked at. It is at these levels that children are trained for their future. Let us concentrate on inculcating civic sense and discipline in children so that we produce good citizens. This will automatically make them competitive in secondary schools and colleges.