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Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Panels for IIT Test Merger, Fee Hike


The IIT Council today set up a panel to examine whether the existing two-tier tests for taking in BTech students could be merged as the top body for the premier institutes set its sights on a faster and more streamlined admission process.
The council also formed two more panels to decide if tuition fees could be increased to recover running costs and explore ways to reduce dependence on private coaching.
The moves to set up the committees came at a meeting that the council, headed by HRD minister Smriti Irani, held at IIT Bombay.
Students hoping to enter the IITs now have to crack two tests - the JEE-Main and the JEE-Advanced. Nearly 13 lakh students appear for the JEE-Main and only the top 1.5 lakh make it to the next level for a shot at entering the IITs.
The National Institutes of Technology (NITs), on the other hand, admit students based on a system of 60:40 weightage - 60 per cent for their JEE-Main score and 40 per cent for their Class XII board marks.
The Joint Admission Board, which decides the JEE-Advanced pattern, had recently proposed merging the two tests, saying admissions were getting delayed.
Since the NITs announce their merit lists after all the school boards have published their results, the IITs have no choice but to wait as the institutes have started common counselling from this year.
"The current system of admission through a two-stage entrance was reviewed by the (IIT) Council. It was decided that the system would be examined in depth by a group of eminent persons to determine whether it needed modification," a statement by the Press Information Bureau said.
The committee has been asked to submit its recommendations by the first week of November. Sources said the NITs were also thinking of admitting students through the JEE-Advanced.
The IIT Council also decided to set up a panel of directors to examine a proposal to recover operational costs from tuition fees so that the tech schools would have to depend less on the government for funds. The NIT Council has already approved a similar proposal for the NITs.
The IITs now charge Rs 90,000 as yearly tuition fees from BTech students. If the proposal is cleared, the tuition fees could go up to around Rs 2 lakh a year. Sources said the committee of directors would examine ways to increase loan amounts for needy students if the fees are hiked.
The council set up another panel, headed by IIT Roorkee chairperson Ashok Mishra, to suggest changes in the pattern of entrance exams to reduce the impact of private tuitions.
A committee headed by IIT Bombay director Devang Khakhar had recently suggested that the NITs scrap the weightage for board marks, as the objective - reducing dependence on private coaching - had been defeated. The committee found that more students had started taking extra tuitions for their Class XII board exams.
IIT directors also proposed that assistant professors should be appointed for five years and confirmed only on the basis of their performance. The IITs now appoint assistant professors on a one-year probation.

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