HRD ministry rejects plea to rethink JEE 2013

Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD) rejected a plea by Delhi-IIT Alumni Association to reconsider the proposal to hold a joint entrance examination (JEE) in 2013 for admission to all centrally-funded engineering institutions, including  IITs.

The Association members had recently called on HRD Minister M M Pallam Raju, seeking his intervention in the matter after he took charge of the Ministry from Kapil Sibal.

“I think a lot of thought has gone into it. It is in the interest of the student community to hold a test (JEE). It will be unfair for me to question it,” the Minister told mediapersons here on Wednesday when asked if HRD ministry was considering a rethink on the proposed common entrance test.

The entrance test will be held from 2013 as decided by the IIT council, National Institutes of Technology and other technical institutions, he said. The JEE format was initially opposed vehemently by IIT-Kanpur and IIT-Delhi faculties. IIT-Kanpur faculty even passed a resolution to hold their own test after IIT Council finalised the new format of the entrance examination.

To end the impasse, the Council decided to hold the test in 2013 with some changes in its format which was accepted by all IIT faculty. Delhi-IIT Alumni Association, however, remained adamant. On IITs’ seeking hike in tuition fee, Raju said the issue will be discussed at a meeting of the IIT Council on January 7.

A standing committee of the IIT Council recently recommended an 80 per cent hike in tuition fees.  The Council, however, spared scheduled caste, scheduled tribe and other backward class students from the proposal fee hike.   

“If an institute is going down due to lack of resources, it has to be looked into. I think IIT Council is empowered to look into it,” The HRD minister said.   On states lagging behind in upgrading school infrastructure under Right to Education (RTE) Act before the March 31, 2013, deadline, Raju reiterated that the ministry would not extend the deadline.

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