IIT admission to get tougher

Minimum marks for JEE may go up from current 60 to 80 per cent

IIT admission to get tougher

Union HRD Minister and Chairman of IIT Council Kapil Sibal speaks at IIT Council Meeting, in New Dehi on Monday. PTI

Accordingly, the minimum marks in Class XII for admission to IITs may be raised from the present 60 per cent to 80 per cent from next year.

Apart from changing the eligibility criteria, the first IIT council meeting under the chairmanship of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal on Monday decided to appoint a three-member committee to review the curriculum and the IIT joint entrance examination (JEE) system.
“The present criterion is that students need to secure 60 per cent marks at class XII for appearing in IIT-JEE. This is not acceptable. The minimum marks required could be raised up to 80 to 85 per cent,” Sibal told reporters after the meeting.

Multi-pronged strategy

The meeting was expected to frame a multi-pronged strategy, including introduction of scholarships and reduction in fee, to attract foreign students at the post-graduate level in the institutes.

It was decided that the government would reduce fee for students from SAARC and African countries.

Currently, foreign students have to pay a much higher fee than their Indian counterparts. There are two different fee structures — one for students from SAARC countries and another for those from other nations.

However, both the fee regimes entail much more spending, an IIT director said. The number of foreign students are very low in IITs, thanks to high fees.
“IITs attract several students from the developing countries. Finding it difficult to pay huge fees, they develop a cold feet on coming here,” he added.

The review committee, which will submit its report within three months, comprises T Ramasamy, Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology; M K Bhan, Secretary, Department of Biotechnology and CSIR Director General Sameer Brahmachari.
The committee will explore whether the prestigious technical institutions could introduce courses on humanities and medicine.

The change in cut-off marks was necessary to ensure that IIT aspirants pay more attention to their board examinations than merely mugging up notes provided by coaching centres.

“The coaching centres offer training for the IIT entrance examination, and the students give more attention to their study material rather than studying hard for the board examinations. We need to get rid of these coaching centres,” Sibal said.

The minister also met representatives of IIT faculty that had been clamouring for the removal of 40 per cent cap on promotion of professors to senior grade. They also demanded the abolition of contractual appointment at the entry level. The minister told them that the government “guidelines are just norms, and there can be flexibility or relaxation in exceptional cases.”

The council will also discuss giving more autonomy to elite institutions. The government has also appointed a committee headed by Atomic Energy Commission Chairman Anil Kakodkar to suggest visions for IITs for 2020.

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