Faculty opposition against the proposed two-step exam with weightage to Class XII board marks gained momentum today with the pan-India faculty federation saying its members in several IITs want to follow IIT Kanpur’s senate decision on Friday to reject the change.
The decision to introduce the new exam was taken by the IIT council. But several IIT senate members have said the Union human resource development ministry is trying to impose the new exam pattern on the IITs with little debate, lack of consultations with faculty — through a process facilitated by IIT directors who have ignored faculty views.
“The so-called consultations with faculty at the IIT council level have been a charade,” said Deepak Gupta, the co-ordinator of the IIT Kanpur senate which announced yesterday that it would hold its own entrance examination in 2013.
“Faculty in IIT Delhi, Bombay and Kharagpur also do not want their institutions to participate in the new JEE,” said Atul Mittal, the IIT faculty federation secretary in Delhi.
The IIT Delhi senate members have already requested the director to hold a special senate meeting on this issue. The IIT Bombay faculty will place a similar request, Mittal said.
The faculty are mainly opposed to the idea of giving weightage to the Class XII board marks in view of diversity and differences in assessment procedures followed by various state boards. The weightage to board marks will allow less deserving students to get into the IITs, they fear.
Three faculty members told The Telegraph that the IIT Kharagpur administration had misrepresented the strong opposition to the new exam expressed by its faculty.
Senate members told this paper they completely “opposed” the new exam pattern and had suggested that IIT Kharagpur should not participate in it for at least two years.
However, the letter of the IIT Kharagpur administration does not reflect the opposition of the senate members.
In an email, a copy of which is available with this paper, IIT Kharagpur faculty complained to director Damodar Acharya that the “spirit of the discussion in the senate meeting” had been diluted in the minutes circulated by the IIT.
“I am sorry to state that the resolution which you have circulated has not quite the true reflection of the spirit of the discussion in the special senate meeting on 2nd May. Majority of the senators and faculty were of the opinion that during this lead period the present IIT-JEE system should continue,” the faculty member said in his complaint.
Asked for a reaction, IIT Kharagpur registrar T.K. Ghosal said the director should be contacted on such issues. Acharya did not respond to calls made to his mobile phone.
HRD minister Kapil Sibal, who is the chairperson of the IIT council that approved the new JEE from 2013, on Wednesday claimed that four IIT senates, including the IIT Kharagpur senate, have supported the new JEE. He conceded that the senates of IIT Bombay, Kanpur and Delhi had opposed the new JEE.
Apart from opposing holding the test from 2013, the majority of the senates were in favour of considering the Class XII board marks as eligibility criteria for taking the test.
According to the compilation of senates’ views presented to Sibal by the IIT faculty federation, senates of IIT Bombay, Delhi and Kanpur had decided that the board marks should be considered as cut-off only. Their senates suggested that there should be no weightage to the board marks either for the first filter or for the final test.
The IIT Delhi alumni association has decided to file a PIL in Delhi High Court next week to challenge the IIT council’s decision on the new JEE.
ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY G.S. MUDUR