"For students aspiring to appear in JEE 2013, the IIT Council proposal is a breach of trust. Both the processes and content of the new examination will not be clear to them any time soon because work on details has not even been initiated.In no case should any new system be introduced before 2014," the federation said in a statement.
"The examination announced by the HRD Ministry is a unilateral decision of IIT Council against the advice and decisions of IIT-Kanpur Senate, which has the prerogative of deciding its admission criteria," the statement said.
It said the format announced is a "piecemeal patch-work" with "serious academic and organisational lacunae" in each of the components of the test. "It has the potential of becoming a national disaster if not opposed by all stakeholders at this stage."
Clearing the air the federation said that while a large number of admission tests are certainly undesirable, a single test on the other hand would be more harmful as it is likely to lead to much more stress, and it can become unfair to a large number of students because of contingent uncertainties.The IIT-Kanpur faculty federation felt using school board marks through percentile based normalisation as proposed under the new format is untested, and based on questionable hypothesis.
"In fact, the procedure has not been fully endorsed even by the expert committee that was consulted for the purpose. Furthermore, making the board marks count numerically will put undesirable stress on fairness of examinations and uniformity of standards across different school boards," it said.
Observing that students are victims of a bad school system, the federation said attributing failure of the schooling system to engineering admission tests is to abrogate the responsibility of improving it.
"The new format is a retrograde step and reverses the continuous churning within the IIT system to improve its admission process academically. The decision to effect the changes, that too from 2013, against all academic advice, reeks of executive brinkmanship with the sole aim of hogging the limelight for reforms credit," the federation said.
The IIT Alumni Association has decided to file public interest litigations in various high courts within the week. The association would ideally like to ensure that petitions are filed and a stay obtained by June 6, which is when the Central Advisory Board of Education will be meeting. The common entrance examination system will be taken up at the CABE meeting on Wednesday and at the State Education Ministers' meet to be held on Tuesday. A stay ahead of the CABE meeting would be a big blow for Sibal's "one nation, one examination" proposal. It is for this reason that the Association has planned to file in several high courts. This could also mean that the matter will be taken up at the level of the Supreme Court, giving the protest an even higher visibility and profile.