For students aching to know what it will take to get into IIT, there's finally closure.
The IIT council has decided that starting next year, students who score in the top 20% of their board exams will take the main or multiple-choice exam. 50,000 students will then take the advanced exam, which will not be held on the same day. (Poll: What do you think of the new format?)
Human Resources Development Minister Kapil Sibal had suggested this formula as an end to weeks of public bickering, and IITs threatening to set and follow their own exams.
The IIT council that met today includes chairmen and directors of all IIT branches and is headed by the Human Resources Development Minister. Mr Sibal did not attend the meeting today - the fallout of allegations that he has tried to curb the autonomy of IIT by trying to force upon it his one-nation-one-exam policy.
Mr Sibal wanted board exams to count for 40% of a student's chances at getting into IIT, with the two entrance exams deciding the balance. He also wanted all engineering colleges funded by the Centre to have a common exam. IIT, however, has decided it will set its own questions. (Comment on the new format)
What Mr Sibal has won is the IIT's commitment that the new format will be implemented in 2013, a year earlier than what its faculty was in favour of.