Wednesday, September 30, 2015

IITs mull reverting to single entrance test format

The IITs could soon revert to a single entrance test system from a two-step process introduced in 2012 as part of the previous UPA government’s examination reforms, in a bid to cut selection delays and administrative hassles.
The two-phase entrance test that comprises the JEE (main) and the IIT-JEE (advanced) came up for discussion at a meeting of the joint admission board on Sunday and a committee was formed to review the system.
“The joint admission board decided to form a committee that will review the two-stage examination process and make recommendations for consideration of the IIT senates,” Devang V Khakhar, director of IIT-Bombay and a member of the joint admission board, told HT.
Another official said most of the IITs were in favour of a single entrance examination conducted exclusively for the premier technical institutes.
Under the two-phase test introduced in 2012, the JEE (main) is the first stage that also forms the basis for selection to the NITs, IIITs and centrally funded technical institutions. Those who clear this test appear for the JEE (advance) conducted exclusively for the IITs.
“The idea behind conducting a two-phase examination was that it would screen out the non-serious students in the first phase and thus lessen the burden of the IITs in selecting candidates,” an IIT professor said.
However, the system made the entire process time-consuming and cumbersome and has also became a hassle for students, he added.
If the system is done away with, it will be another UPA-introduced decision on examination reforms scrapped by the NDA government.
Earlier, the controversial percentile system that governed students’ eligibility for admission to the IITs was changed in September last year. The system required successful candidates to be among the top-20 percentile scorers in the Class 12 exams of their respective boards.
The government changed the criterion to ‘‘top 20 percentile or 75% marks in the state board examination, whichever is lower’’ for a seat in the IITs.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

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FEE REFUND UPDATE: IIT, NITs to refund the fee if not taken admission

The human resource development ministry has clarified that the Indian Institutes of Technology and National Institutes of Technology will refund the seat acceptance fee after deducting the processing charge of Rs 1,000 to those students who remitted the fee but did not take admission.

The move came the after ministry received queries from a large number parents and students on the refund of the seat acceptance fee.

“Candidate who remit seat acceptance fee, report to any reporting centre but do not join the participating institute will be treated as rejecting the offer. Such candidates may seek for the refund of the acceptance fee after the completion of seat-allocation process. In such cases, candidates will be refunded the seat acceptance fee paid by him or her after deducting one thousand rupees,” the ministry said on Friday.

The Joint Seat Allocation Authority has already taken a decision in this regard earlier. “In cases where candidates leave after joining the participating institute and if the seat falling vacant has been filled by another candidate by the last date of admission, the institute may return the fee collected with proportionate deductions of monthly fee and proportionate hostel rent, where applicable,” the ministry added.

Sunday, September 13, 2015



A panel formed by the government to review the system of admitting BTech students in NITs has suggested scrapping the weightage given to board marks, setting the stage for a possible reversal of the initiative that had laid stress on schooling.
Under the existing system, 40 per cent weightage is given to board marks and 60 per cent to the JEE-Main score.
But the panel, at a meeting last week, concluded that the standard of school boards had deteriorated and private coaching had increased since the system was started two years ago.
Curbing the impact of private coaching on engineering entrance tests was one of the reasons the new system was started. Another objective was to widen the scope for rural students. If the government eventually accepts the suggestions of the panel, set up by the HRD ministry, the initiative would trace a full circle.
The panel will meet again next week to draft a report. On October 1, HRD minister Smriti Irani will chair a meeting of the NIT Council, the top body on matters related to the 31 National Institutes of Technology, to take a final decision.
Two members of the panel, which includes IIT Bombay director Devang Khakhar and NIT Patna director Asok De, said the committee was unanimous that the weightage system should be scrapped. "The standard of the majority of the boards has gone down. The distribution of marks suggests a sizable number of students securing marks above the mean or average, which normally does not happen," one member told The Telegraph.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

JEE Nationalisation is Key to Admission Transformation

Two advertisements for admissions on the same day caught my attention. One was for admission to IIMs for the year 2016 and the other was a desperate call by an institution to fill its seats for the current academic year 2015-16. The state of admissions to engineering colleges is no different. On one hand, plans for JEE 2016 have started and on the other, some private colleges are still pushing their ‘agents’ one last time or deploying all sorts of ‘marketing techniques’ to complete the admission process for 2015-16. That admission process cannot go beyond August 15 is law of the land laid down by the Supreme Court in December 2012 in Parshavanath Charitable Trust vs AICTE and no authority has the power to change the admissions schedule finalised by the court. It is also hard to blame the institutions as they are confronted with an equally culpable students and parents community who are trivialising professional college admission to that of hotel or travel booking. With multiple admission offers in students’ hands and decision-making stretched till the last minute, colleges are also in a state of suspended animation in this emerging saga of democratic choice, and in some worse cases, students treat denial of admission to waiting genuine students as their fundamental right. Reward for multiple success! Can the system get better as we move forward? Yes. It can.
Kudos to the Ministry of Human Resources Development (MHRD) for successfully completing the Joint Counselling for admission to IITs and NITs as directed by the Delhi High Court for the admission year 2015-16. Though there were initial hiccups and some vacant seats, the overall objective of the Joint Seat Allocation Authority (JoSAA) to ensure that the 34,074 seats across 610 degree programmes in 87 institutions was achieved with reasonable success. The number of students who appeared for JEE Main 2015 was more than 13 lakh, and those who got admitted through the JoSAA forms a diminutive 0.25 per cent. While states like Maharashtra, Odisha, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, etc have adopted JEE Main for their state admission counselling, the contribution margin of JEE to India’s professional college admission system still needs to be increased. Can a system that examines the aptitude of over 13 lakh students every year afford to be under-utilised in the guise of individual entrance exams or admission procedure by individual institutions or states? Definitely not.
The way forward: There is a growing sentiment among parents and students on the torturous task of facing multiple entrance exams for admission to professional courses. Every exam seeks to test a student’s general mental ability and fundamental knowledge in Maths, Physics, Chemistry and Biology. It is difficult to substantiate that a particular university’s or institution’s entrance exam is unique. The law of thermodynamics or trigonometry or periodic table or human anatomy remains unchanged, whether it is tested for JEE or for any entrance exam. This being so, why allow institutions to conduct own entrance exams and allow it to be an instrument for record application sales? The recent success of JoSAA needs to be sustained and expanded. 
The time has come for a national test facility, and the MHRD-appointed committee to review AICTE is right in its recommendation for a single admission test for engineering and MBA. Students will be eternally thankful to the MHRD if JEE is nationalised beginning with deemed universities in 2016 mandated to use JEE scores, and this will in no way affect their admission rights. Moving forward, if other states are covered, the admission scene in the country will undergo a transformational change. Let the dialogue begin.
The writer is Dean, Planning & Development, SASTRA University

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Panel suggests withdrawal option after second round of IIT, NIT admission


 In the joint seat allocation process for admissions to IITs and NITs next year, the authority may allow admission withdrawal option once at the end of the second round. If recommendations made to the Joint Admission Board (JAB) are accepted, the process will undergo a few changes in 2016. 

Among others, the admission committee has also suggested that seats vacant in any course in IITs should be carried forward for admissions to the first year BTech programme the following year. This will mean, if three of the 110 seats are vacant in BTech computer science programme at IIT-Bombay this year for any reason, 113 seats will be made available for students in 2016. The recommendations were submitted in their final admission report submitted to the board last month. 

An official said that the joint seat allocation process was quite successful this year for IITs as less than 50 seats were vacant at the end of it. "But if all seats need to be filled in IITs and NITs, then we need to hold more rounds. For this, we will have to start the process early," he said. This year, IITs carried out three rounds of ad missions, while NITs had four. The admission process, however, could start only on July 1 after the CBSE submitted the Class XII scores of over 45 higher secondary education boards. "If 4-5 rounds are conducted, there is a possibility that all seats will be full. We also need to give students at least 1to 2 weeks between the last admission date and the joining date to ensure they get enough time to reach their respective campuses," said the official. Students this year also complained that there was no option to withdraw admission in the joint seat allocation process. While officials said seats were allotted to students on the basis of merit and their choices, students claimed that they were stuck with an unwanted seat once they made a wrong choice. "Giving withdrawal option after every round will complicate the process. So we suggested that students can be allowed to withdraw admission once at the end of the second round," said the official. 

Devang Khakhar, director of IIT-Bombay who was cochairman of JoSAA 2015, confirmed suggestions were made to the admission board but are yet to be accepted. IIT-Guwahati will represent IITs in JoSAA 2016 along with an NIT. 

Thursday, September 03, 2015


Last date for online submission of Bank details for refund is 15 September 2015. After that, Bank will start RTGS/NEFT transfer. So, candidates are advised to give bank details with at most care.

Wednesday, September 02, 2015

NTSE scholarships increased to 2000

 In a good news for students, government has decided to double the scholarships awarded annually under the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) from 1000 to 2000.
“The last revision was carried out a decade back and 1000 scholarships were awarded. From this year, we will give 2000 scholarships,” Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani said at the 55th foundation day celebration of National Council of Educational Research and Training (NCERT), which conducts NTSE. Roughly three lakh class X students appear for the test every year which comprises mental ability and scholastic ability tests.
The amount of scholarship given is Rs500 per month for all the students studying in Class XI onwards except for Ph.D programme, wherein it is paid as per University Grants Commission (UGC) norms. Emphasising on learning outcome in classes and the quality of teaching, the minister said a nation-wide assessment survey would be carried out by NCERT covering every district and every class to find the deficiencies so as to ‘course correct’ accordingly.