Sibal mulls changes in engineering entrance exam

Friday, September 10, 2010

NEW DELHI - The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) entrance exams needs an overhaul to discourage coaching institutes, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said Friday.

“The present system of coaching must go as it is detrimental to the quality of intake,” Sibal told reporters after a meeting of the council of IITs.

The changes in the pattern of engineering entrance exams had been proposed by the ministry earlier as well.

A committee was formed under IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya which suggested including weightage of the 12th Class result and a national level aptitude test for admission in engineering courses.

“The Acharya committee has given its report and it was widely agreed that the entrance exam system needs to be changed but it is yet to finalize how,” Sibal said.

Though a consensus could not be built on the recommendations of the Acharya report, Sibal said all members agreed on the need for a change.

“There are two things. Firstly the present system of coaching must go as it is detrimental to quality of intake; secondly, the problem of children appearing for multiple entrance exams causes financial and psychological pressure on the children and their family,” Sibal said.

The minister said there were suggestions that state-wise percentile given to students will be considered for the entrance.

“We should look at the 12th level performance… otherwise students from some states may get left out,” he said.

“Weightage will be given to 12th exam marks, and that marks will be based on the performance through the year. It will automatically discourage coaching,” he said.

The minister said a committee has been formed under Science and Technology Secretary T. Ramasami and it will submit its report in three months. “After that we’ll involve all IITs and have a full discussion,” he said.

Sibal added that the IITs have said they wanted to continue with the joint entrance exam.

“The IITs don’t want to do away with the JEE but they have said that if an alternative is provided they will discuss it with their faculty,” he added.

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