IIT-Kharagpur Director sticks to his stand

A day after he came under attack for supporting Centre's 'one-nation one-test' proposal, IIT-Kharagpur Director Damodar Acharya today justified his stand saying that the new format would help students from rural areas to study in the prestigious institutions.

He also said the new Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) system, proposed by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal, would help reduce the importance of coaching.

"The proposed new JEE system would help students from rural areas and girls as with their effort and performance in school they will get a chance to enter into professional education," Acharya told PTI in response to a question over the controversy.

"The importance on coaching will reduce. Eight consultations with stakeholders including the Chairman of the School Boards and technical education experts across the country by my team clearly see merit in the proposed system and particularly merit in giving importance to the school performance," he said.

Acharya had come under attack from All India IIT Faculty Federation yesterday for saying that IIT-Kharagpur does not have any objection to the Centre's move to conduct a common entrance exam for central engineering institutions.

In its statement, the Federation had said that it was "shocked to learn that the Director, IIT Kharagapur has made public statements which are in contradiction to the resolutions made by the Senate of IIT Kharagpur."

Meanwhile, IIT Delhi Alumni Association and All India IIT Faculty Federation--the two influential organisations opposing the Government's move-- have sought an audience with Prime Minister to apprise him of the situation that has arisen out of HRD announcement of new JEE dated May 28.

"We are constantly in touch with PMO. We have been asked to wait," IIT-Delhi Alumni president Somnath Bharti said.

Meanwhile, IIT-Delhi Alumni Association alleged that the new JEE is definitely aimed at "benefiting coaching industry atleast three-fold."

"Because there is no escape for the students but to join coaching institute to better their performance in Class 12, JEE-Main and JEE-Advance more so because schools have failed to live up to the expectation of students in helping them prepare for such an examination," Somnath Bharti said.

Sibal had on May 28 announced that from 2013, aspiring candidates for IITs and other central institutes like NITs and IIITs will have to sit under a new format of common entrance test, which will also take the plus-two board results into consideration.

The Minister had claimed that it was approved without dissent at a council consisting of the IITs, the IIITs and the NITs.

Senate of the IIT-Kanpur has rejected the Centre's 'one-nation one-test' proposal and decided to conduct its own entrance exam from next year.

However, supporting the government proposal, Director of the IIT-Madras Bhaskar Ramamurthi has said that his institute is ready to go with the Centre's proposal from the next academic year.

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