Common Counselling for IITs, NITs from 2015

JEE Advanced to go online from 2016

Anubhuti Vishnoi  New Delhi, August 26, 2014 | UPDATED 23:40 IST


In a bid to take the much sought after Joint Engineering Examination (JEE) to the next level, the Indian Institutes of Technology have last week quietly begun working on a plan to take the JEE Advanced online by 2016-17.

At a meeting of the Joint Admission Board of IITs held on August 23, 2014 in New Delhi, the institutes agreed that JEE Advanced, which determines admission to all 16 IITs, should go completely online from 2016.

Near 1.5 lakh students screened after appearing for JEE Main are eligible to appear for the JEE Advanced. The JEE Main determines admission to all National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other engineering colleges and also decodes eligibility of candidates to appear for JEE Advanced.

JEE Main has already gone partly online. The IITs own Joint Admission Test for Masters (JAM) and Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) for masters courses also offered at the institutes are also online.
The online JEE Advanced will continue to consist of Paper I and Paper II and will have to be taken on the same day at one shot.

However, the IITs are also looking at revisiting the nature of the JEE Advanced question paper ahead of the online debut.

Apart from ensuring that the exam format can be delivered online, the IITs are also looking seriously at replacing the Multiple Choice Question (MCQ) testing format.

While it is currently MCQ based, the IITs are considering a questioning technique which is objective but drives a student to attempt the whole problem solving exercise and arrive at a written answer. The written answer sheet will be read and assessed through sophisticated Optical Character Readers (OCR) as envisaged by the IITs.

The shift from an MCQ-based exam to one that compels a student to come up with an original answer derived through problem solving is proposed because many in the IIT system feel that the existing multiple choice questioning style may be allowing several students to score high just by guessing the correct answers instead of applying their mind.

Unlike the IIMs that have tied up with a single vendor Prometric for holding the Common Admission Test (CAT) online, the IITs are attempting to bring in multiple vendors for the JEE Advanced.
That apart, after a two-year tussle with NITs and the Union Human Resource Development ministry, the IITs have last week finally come up with a formula to enable an online joint counseling of students for admission to IITs and NITs.

It is learnt that a team of computer scientists from various IITs have together come up with a formula to ensure an error-free mechanism for joint online counseling for admission to IITs and NITs. This counseling formula will now be handed over to the National Informatics Centre (NIC) for implementation.

So a student will indicate his top institute and course choices at the time of filling the admission form – a JEE aspirant can fill up to 250 choices. While students will not have to go for separate IIT and NIT counseling, the online format developed by IITs will communicate to each students who clears the JEE Main which courses he is eligible for based on his rankings.

The much-hyped common entrance exam for admission to NITs and IITs that was introduced in 2013 – JEE Main and JEE Advanced – saw IITs and NITs in opposite camps with the former refusing to participate the joint seat allocation system citing reservations about the software prepared by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing (CDAC) for the same.

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“Resolve issue of common counselling for IITs, NITs”
NEW DELHI, August 3, 2014
Mohammed Iqbal

The Delhi High Court has directed the Union Human Resource Development Ministry (MHRD) to sort out the issue of common counselling for admissions to Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology (NITs) from the academic year 2015-16. A technical committee appointed by the Ministry will submit a report in this connection and make suggestions for implementing common counselling.
The issue of seats in IITs and NITs across the country remaining vacant in successive academic sessions was brought to the High Court through public interest litigation by an IIT professor, Rajeev Kumar, who alleged discrepancies, irregularities and arbitrariness in the joint entrance examination conducted by IITs.
A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice R. S. Endlaw disposed of the writ petition on Friday with directions for common counselling of candidates and consideration of transfer of reserved category seats in IITs, if they remain unfilled, to the general category. The MHRD will take a decision on this aspect and place it before the Court by November 30.

The Court also directed the MHRD and IITs to consider the possibility of provision for lateral entry into IITs in the second year of students from NITs and other engineering colleges. A report on this aspect will also be placed before the Court by November 30.
Dr. Kumar had filed the writ petition in 2010 when he found several discrepancies in IIT-JEE, such as inaccuracies in the cut-off determination, unattended errors in question setting, faculty nexus with coaching, selection of IITs administrators’ wards and a closed admission counselling system.
In its 12-page judgment, the Court pulled up IITs and NITs for not addressing the issue of vacant seats, observing that they did not need years to develop a programme for synchronisation of admissions and they could not afford any “red-tapism” in this regard.
“It is rather intriguing to know that the IITs and NITs, which are providing consultancy to others on technical matters, are unable to themselves find a solution for synchronising admissions to eliminate or at least minimise the issue of vacant seats,” stated the Bench.
The Court also said that the filling up of vacant seats could not be at the cost of maintaining standards of education and merit in IITs.

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