A meeting of the Joint Councils of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs), Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) and other central educational institutions approved the conduct of a common examination in its meeting Monday.
The meeting was presided over by Minister for Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal.
The common national test will remove the multiplicity of entrance examinations that a student intending to pursue a course in engineering has to appear in.
'The burden imposed on students in terms of time, payment of examination fees and the stress caused in scheduling and preparing for each examination is tremendous. We have been working on reforms in the examination system by moving towards a common national test to reduce the burden on the students and at the same time preserving the autonomy of the state governments and institutions in devising its admission process,' an official said.
The official said that another serious problem with the present system is the neglect of the Class XII examination process while admitting students to engineering institutions.
'This has led to the almost complete disregard to the secondary school system and neglect of education imparted in schools, impacting quality and access. Parents and children have been forced to seek access to outside-the-school instruction methods to enable the student to prepare for the multitude of entrance examinations,' he said.
'The proposed reform attempts to bring focus back to the schooling system by giving weightage to performance in Class 12 board examinations normalized on percentile basis. The reform would, in the longer term, have an impact on the quality of and enable better quality access,' he said.
A for admission to the undergraduate programmes in engineering would be conducted in two parts, JEE-MAIN and JEE-ADVANCED.
For all other centrally funded institutions, there would be 40 percent weightage for performance in Class XII Board marks, 30 percent weightage for performance in JEE-MAIN and 30 percent weightage in JEE-ADVANCED and a combined merit decided accordingly.
JEE-MAIN tests shall be multiple choice objective type paper whereas the nature and modalities of the JEE-ADVANCED shall be determined by the Joint Admission Board of IITs.
A meeting of state education ministers' is proposed for June 5 where the participation of states in the common national test process would be deliberated upon.