Centre, IITs face-off likely

Centre, IITs face-off likely

 The Centre wants the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) to be ready to hand over the task of holding nationwide test for admissions to their undergraduate programmes to the proposed National Testing Agency (NTA).

Though the establishment and operationalisation of the NTA will take more than a year, the government’s intention to take away the entrance test for admissions to IITs from their domain may set stage for a fresh battle between the human resource development (HRD) ministry and the premier technical institutes.

The IITs retained the power to conduct entrance test for undergraduate programmes within their jurisdiction, raising a banner of revolt against such a move during the erstwhile regime of the United Progressive Alliance in 2013.

The HRD ministry then wanted to hold a common entrance test for all engineering colleges but had to tweak its plan, succumbing to the IITs’ protest.

The ministry agreed for holding of the Joint Entrance Test (JEE) in two parts — JEE-Main and JEE-advance — with the second test to be held by the IITs for filling their seats and the first by the Central Board Secondary Education (CBSE) for admission to other centrally funded technical institutes.

“All entrance tests, including those conducted by the IITs and All India Council for Technical Education will be held by the NTA. Setting up of the testing agency, however, will take some time.

So, for one or two years, the CBSE will have to continue holding the tests it is currently assigned with,” HRD Minister Prakash Javadekar said. 

He was addressing a press conference here to highlight the ministry’s take away from the Union Budget.

The HRD ministry has witnessed an increase in its budgetary allocations by a little over 10% for 2017-18, compared to those of the last fiscal.

Finance Minister Arun Jaitley earmarked nearly Rs 78,000 crore funds for the ministry for 2017-18 against Rs 72,394 crore in 2016-17.

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