IIT Council changes JEE Advanced eligibility criteria
Anubhuti Vishnoi | | New Delhi, September 22, 2014 | UPDATED 23:26 IST
In a key decision, the IIT Council chaired by Union Human Resource Development minister Smriti Irani has agreed to change the IIT-JEE Advanced eligibility criteria- from the existing top 20 percentile to top 20 percentile or 75 per cent marks in the Class XII board exam, whichever is lower. That apart, minister Smriti Irani also announced at the Council meeting held in Chennai today that a committee will be set up to resolve the IIT-UGC row over nomenclature of degrees and four year courses at IITs.
Recommended by the IIT Joint Admission Board (JAB) earlier this month, the changed JEE eligibility criteria will be a major relaxation for IIT aspirants from the CBSE board system and state boards which are seen as more generous with their marking system.
As of now only students who are among the top 20 percentile in their board examinations and have cleared the JEE Main examination are eligible to appear for JEE Advanced. However, the JAB this month recommended that alternatively students who may have scored 75 per cent marks in their Class XII exams should also be seen as eligible for JEE Advanced. This will apply where the last cut-off for top 20 percentile is more than 75 per cent marks.
Several students from Andhra Pradesh could not make it to IITs last year as while some had scored over 90 per cent they still could not be among the top 20 percentile- the issue even went to court. Reason being that some school boards are more generous in their marking system than others inadvertently putting their students at a disadvantage when it came to JEE Advanced that has started relying on percentile based screening mechanisms. CBSE also faced similar problems. The JAB is of the view that a relaxation is necessary to ensure that all candidates are at equal advantage when appearing for JEE Advanced.
On the UGC-IIT row, a two-member committee with Secretary Higher Education Ashok Thakur and UGC Chairman Prof Ved Prakash will assess how to reconcile the degrees offered at IITs with the 5th July notification of the University Grants Commission (UGC) that listed out recognized academic courses and their duration.
The University Grants Commission (UGC) had sparked off a controversy last month when it shot off a communication to the country’s 16 IITs asking them to ensure that the degrees they are offering are aligned to those recognized by them. Taking strong exception to the higher education regulator dictating degree specifics to them, the IITs had written to the Smriti Irani led HRD ministry complaining about what they viewed as interference in the IIT system. Incidentally, while the Standing Committee of the IIT Council (SCIC) met on 12th September recommending that the UGC’s July notification on recognized degrees be expanded to include IIT degrees, the HRD ministry has decided to set up another committee to look into the matter.