Sibal’s IIT meet on jinxed CET a ‘hush hush’ affair
Pioneer News Service | New Delhi | Apr, 11, 201
The outcome of the much awaited meeting of HRD Minister Kapil Sibal with top bosses of IIT and members of the All-India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIFF) on Wednesday on the crucial issue of Common Engineering Test (CET) from 2013 — by giving 40 per cent weightage to board results — was an official ‘hush hush’ affair.
Sources, however, revealed that the deadlock over the matter continues with certain IIT directors and faculty members opposing CET citing dilution of admission criteria of the premier institute.
HRD Ministry officials questioned if AIIMS could agree over a common medical entrance test from 2013, what holds back IIT from CET?
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal first met the directors of seven IITs and their chairmen and followed it up with a separate meeting with AIFF members. No official information was given on the ultimate outcome though. “It was a fruitful meeting with both sides hearing each other positively,” was the official statement.
Sources pointed out that the outcome of the meeting was not unexpected. Certain IITs (Bombay, Delhi, Kanpur ) are particularly opposing the proposed changes. Their main concern is over the inclusion of 40 per cent of board marks, which they say could dilute the IIT brand name.
The AIIFF had recently written a letter to Sibal and the Prime Minister’s Office stating that the academic issues including the admission standards and process were primarily the sole responsibility of the IIT Senate.
Analysing the opposition, the sources conceded that the recommendations of neither the Acharya nor the Ramasami committee, set up to address the issue of standardisation of board marks, addressed it. The Indian Statistical Institute too has said it was not feasible.
But on the other hand, the officials raised questions on the logic behind opposing the common engineering exam for the entire country. They pointed to the case of AIIMS which is much more competitive than IIT with barely 72 seats. “If admissions to AIIMS can be done on the basis of single medical exam (NEET-UG) from 2013 (as per the Supreme Court directives) why cannot the same system be followed in case of engineering?”
Since both the engineering and medical entrance tests target the same XIIth and Science students, the proposed ‘single engineering entrance examination’ should also be conducted on identical lines, they felt.
Giving suggestions to break the stalemate, they pointed out that the single engineering exam should be a multiple choice question type test covering the subjects of Physics, Mathematics and Chemistry, based on XIIth standard common science curriculum. The exam should be conducted with transparency and accountability and papers should be set by a joint team of senior CBSE teachers and IIT Professors rather than only the latter so that the questions are more in sync with the Class XII science syllabus.