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No figures on the 20-percentile yet, IIT aspirants in fix

R. Ravikanth Reddy
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With the Board of Intermediate Education (BIE) refusing to part with information on the number of students figuring in the top 20 percentile of successful candidates in the second year exams — a prerequisite for IIT admissions this year — students face are at a loss as to whether or not they should seriously prepare for the JEE-Advanced exam.

The JEE-Advanced will be held for candidates seeking entry into IITs this year. However, such aspirants have to not only be among the top 1.5 lakh candidates in the JEE-Main, but also figure in the top 20 percentile of the respective boards. With reservations being applicable in both stages of the exam, there is all the more uncertainty among candidates.

Parents argue that if the BIE reveals the number of candidates fulfilling the criterion, students who fall short can either prepare for improvement examsor drop preparations for the JEE-Advanced.

“At least such candidates can concentrate on Eamcet or entrance exams of other states,” says Achyut Rao, father of an aspirant.

With the pass percentage rising to 65.36 per cent this year and 48.31 per cent of students (2,43,612) scoring more than 75 per cent marks, students feel the 20 percentile cut-off may be very high. Moreover, pass percentage among MPC students is much higher (75.37 percent) with 2,79,444 candidates clearing the exam. The cut-off cannot be calculated based on these statistics since the top 20 percentile candidates will be chosen not just from general category but also from BC, SC and ST categories according to the reservations earmarked for them.

IIT trainers say the eligibility factor is playing on students’ minds, thus hampering preparations, and this may ultimately affect their chances.

“When the competition is so high and students lose out on admissions with a difference of one or two marks, it is important they should be allowed to prepare without any tensions. This is the first JEE-Advanced and students are not aware of the pattern. We may end up with lesser IIT admissions from the State this year due to new pattern and uncertainty,” says an IIT trainer.

BIE officials argue that calculating the percentile is not their job.

They said they would handover the statistics to the CBSE, which would then decide on the number of eligible students.

Officials fear that even a small mistake can land them in legal hassles and that was why they were not ready to part with the information, even unofficially.

The ‘top 20 percentile’ eligibility factor will come into play only during the admissions time and not while taking the JEE-Advanced. So students may end up writing the JEE-Advanced but may not become eligible for IIT admissions despite good performance if they don’t figure in the BIE’s top 20 percentile.

“When the competition is so high and students lose out on admissions with a difference of one or two marks, it is important they should be allowed to prepare without any tensions” — an IIT trainer.

“Those candidates [who have not made it to the top 20 percentile] can at least concentrate on Eamcet or entrance exams of other states” Achyut Rao, father of an aspirant.


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