The common entrance test issue has very well managed to create a huge divide within the IIT community. While IIT Kanpur made the bold declaration of conducting its own entrance exam, IIT Guwahati made public its support of Kapil Sibal’s ‘one-nation-one-test’ pattern. Here’s an update on where all the IITs stand on the issue.

IIT Kanpur takes a stand: Plans to conduct its own entrance test if common entrance test is adopted

  • Declaration to conduct own exam: IIT Kanpur decided that it would conduct its own exam, if the common entrance test pattern with normalization of board scores is adopted.
  • Formation of admission committee: After the bold declaration, an admission committee has already been formed by the IIT Kanpur Director. The committee’s first assignment would be to coordinate with other willing IITs, and make a plan to conduct a separate admission test in 2013.
  • However, M. Anandakrishnan feels that the decision might be hasty: Highly divided opinions can be seen here as well. While the IIT Kanpur senate passed the resolution to hold its own exam, M. Anandakrishnan, Chairman of the board of governors (IIT Kanpur) has been supposedly quoted as saying, One nation, one test, is a desirable objective. While IIT Kanpur senate has passed a resolution, we have to look at its implications. One IIT cannot run the IIT exam. We have to think whether all the IITs will go along. IITs are a close group and decisions need to reflect the view of all.”

IIT Kharagpur: Damodar Acharya criticized by faculty for backing Kapil Sibal

IIT Kharagpur senates criticize IIT Kharagpur DirectorWhile the IIT Kharagpur senate was busy opposing the ‘one-nation-one-test’ philosophy, Kharagpur IIT’s director Damodar Acharya made public his support of Kapil Sibal and the idea of a common entrance test.

The declaration, as expected aggravated the already flared tempers in the IIT Community. All India IIT Faculty federation is quoted as saying, “We are shocked to learn that the director, IIT Kharagpur, has made public statements in contradiction to resolutions made by the senate of IIT Kharagpur.”

The senate and faculty of IIT Kharagpur had rejected the idea of a common entrance test on 10th June, 2012. In fact, according to an article published in Asian Age, the Kharagpur faculty had quoted that “Till 2014, no change should be made and the status quo maintained.”

According to an article published in Hindustan Time, a Kharagpur professor quoted, “There were 500 members present at our senate, of which 490 opposed the government’s proposal. Now, how is the Director saying that that his senate was with the government’s proposal? We fear that Bengal students will be worst hit if board marks are added for selection in JEE, considering that it is very difficult to get even 60% in our board exams.”

IIT Delhi seeks a senate discussion before taking a stand

  • Feels that 2013 is too soon for implementation of new JEE pattern: IIT Delhi is opposed to the idea of implementing the exam from 2013, as that would be too soon.
  • Also, they want the advanced exam to be completely under the control of IITs (with no CBSE involved).

Though IIT Delhi alumni association has been vocal about its opposition to common entrance test format, IIT Delhi isn’t too sure about joining IIT Kanpur’s battle yet.

Opinions here as well are contradictory, with RK Shevgaonkar, Director, IIT Delhi reportedly quoting, “We stand by our decision to go through the CET route from next year onwards and there is no deviation from the same.” This is despite the fact that IIT Delhi alumni association is one of the bodies most fiercely opposing the common entrance exam.

Also, IIT Delhi has decided to hold a senate meeting on the 21st of June to discuss the matter, before they take a stand.

IIT Bombay non-committal

Bombay also is against the new JEE pattern, but it is yet to decide whether it would follow IIT Kanpur’s example and conduct its own test, or not. Prof. K Narasimhan said, “Since it is vacation, the senate can meet only by the end of June. The new version rolled out by the government will then be discussed and a final call taken by the IIT Bombay senate,”

Support for Kapil Sibal: Gautam Barua (IIT Guwahati) and Damodar Acharya (IIT Kharagpur)  

IIT Guwahati Director Gautam Barua was the first member of the IIT Community to voice his support for Kapil Sibal’s proposal. He also criticized IIT Kanpur’s decision by saying, “I am sad actually that they have to take this extreme step for such a small matter.”  

IIT Kharagpur Director Damodar Acharya stuck to his stand, even after coming under fierce attack from IIT Faculty Federation. He said, “The proposed new JEE system would help students from rural areas and girls as with their effort and performance in school they will get a chance to enter into professional education. The importance on coaching will reduce.”

IIT Delhi Alumni Association and IIT Faculty Federation wait for PMO’s response

IIT alumni association write to the PM criticising new JEE patternMeanwhile, IIT Delhi Alumni Association and IIT Faculty Federation wait for an appointment with The Prime Minister to discuss the matter. As reported earlier, a letter was written to the Prime Minister seeking his intervention (by the IIT Delhi Alumni Association and IIT faculty Federation).

Somnath Bharti, President, IIT Alumni Association quoted, “We are in touch with the Prime Minister’s Office to seek an audience with him in order to apprise him of the situation that has arisen out of the Human Resource Development Ministry’s announcement on May 28 of the new joint entrance examination.”

“What’s all the haste to introduce the common entrance test,” questions the IIT Faculty Federation

“They have not done their homework, they are still not able to get the marks from all boards and normalize it. If they cannot do it now, how will they do it next year?” quoted Sanjeev Sanghi, President, IIT Faculty Forum, opposing the new pattern.

MHRD’s take on the rebellion

Meanwhile, the HRD Ministry is playing a mute witness to the rebellion and the confusion. While Mr. Kapil Sibal is out of country, it is likely that the MHRD is waiting eagerly for June 30th, when the states are supposed to give their consent or dissent for the ‘one-nation-one-test’ format.

All this confusion is despite Mr. Sibal’s claim that the common entrance test was accepted at the May 28th meeting without any dissent.

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