A single entrance examination will be held from 2013 for admission to the centrally funded engineering institutes. These include the 15 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and all the National Institutes of Technology (NITs). Equal weightage will be given to marks obtained in the Class XII examinations and those of the entrance tests.
After two years of discussion and debate, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal has managed to get everyone to agree to what he has been pushing for - a single Joint Entrance Test (JEE) to replace the current IIT-JEE and AIEEE, two of the most established engineering examinations, for gaining entry into undergraduate engineering (BTech) courses.
At least six IIT directors were present at the press conference in New Delhi today where Mr Sibal announced the changes. "There was no dissent and everyone agreed to the decisions," said Mr Sibal.
However, the IIT Senate that has nearly 900 professors and is responsible for the maintenance of standards of instruction, education and examination in the Institute feels the format is being diluted. "The Senate's views have been clearly overruled without giving reasons," said Professor Sanjeev Sanghi the President of Faculty Forum (IIT Delhi)
The four contentious issues that NDTV has been reporting on seem to have been resolved.
The new format will be adopted from next year. This means the 2013 entrance test will be conducted in the new format with objective-type questions. This is a move that had been opposed by the IIT senate.
There will be two tests for entrance - the main entrance test and an advance test, both held on the same day. Its yet another issue on which the ministry seemed to have prevailed.
And from next year the Class XII exams results will matter a whole lot more since 50 percentile weightage will be given to them for entrance to IITs.
"Another serious problem with the present system is the neglect of the Class XII examination process while admitting students to engineering institutions. This has led to the almost complete disregard to the secondary school system and neglect of education imparted in schools impacting quality and access," explained Mr Sibal.
All aspirants will have to appear for a main test and an advanced test. The top 50,000 students in the main test will have their advance papers evaluated for IIT merit positions. For other colleges apart from IIT, the weightage is: 40 per cent on the Class 12 results, 30 per cent to the main test and 30 per cent to the advanced test.
Earlier, the IITs had resisted having a joint test with other institutions, after which the two tier system was evolved.
Speaking to NDTV, the Chairman of the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), Vineet Jain said, "The will bring about a big change in the teaching-learning in the classroom."