HRD Ministry reaches out to IITs on common test

Union Human Resource Development Ministry will hold a meeting with the Indian Institutes of Technology to address their concern over the proposed common national examination for science and engineering for Central institutes that is to be implemented from 2013.

The older IITs — Kharagpur, Kanpur, Delhi, Bombay, Guwahati and Madras were the ones that raised the concern.

The meeting will be held on April 11 and the IIT Directors, representatives of the faculty federation and other faculty members have been invited. Its outcome will be further deliberated at the IIT Council meet to be held on April 14, though the IITs have not questioned need to hold a common entrance examination.

Last month, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal announced merger of the entrance examinations of the Indian Institutes of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) and the All-India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE).

A common test would be held and the best-scoring students could choose an institution of their choice.

The five Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research had subsequently agreed to adopt the common entrance test that will cover admissions to 15 IITs, 30 National Institutes of Technology and four Indian Institutes of Information Technology. Private institutions and States can also adopt the test.

While Haryana, Uttarakhand, Delhi and Chandigarh have decided to join this system, Tamil Nadu, Himachal Pradesh, Odisha, Puducherry and West Bengal sought more time to study the proposal. All universities and institutions offering engineering courses will now use the all-India merit list for admissions.


The IITs recently expressed reservation over the entrance test being only of objective-type questions and the use of a weightage formula to consider the Class XII board exam performance. The IITs made it clear that they would like to conduct the test, instead of entrusting it with the Central Board of Secondary Education.

The IITs pointed out that the new system with higher weightage for Class XII board examinations was not practical.

Since the assessment system varied among school boards, it would not be possible to assess all students by the same scale and weightage.

Also, the use of only objective-type questions in the proposed test has not found favour with the IITs, which have suggested that the test should carry long answer-type questions.

The proposed common eligibility test will consist of two parts.

The first will be an aptitude test of objective type testing the students' abilities of comprehension, critical thinking and logical reasoning.

The second is an advance test based on the students' problem-solving abilities for basic science subjects.

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