Sources have told NDTV, that the IITs will conduct the advance test separately and it will not be held on the day of the main entrance test. Another crucial point that the IITs have been against is the inclusion of Class XII marks for the advance test. Sources say that Class XII marks will not be considered.
The softening of stance by the HRD ministry, headed by Kapil Sibal, comes after the All India Faculty Federation (AIFF) of the IITs met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh over the issue on Friday. Dr Singh had assured the IITs that the autonomy of the institution will be upheld.
Mr Sibal had said that the common entrance exam for engineering colleges was aimed at reducing the pressure on students who finish Class XII and then have to take multiple exams for different engineering colleges.
Mr Sibal's 'one nation, one test' proposal has been opposed by various bodies of the IITs. IIT Kanpur has already announced that it will conduct its own entrance test from next year. The IIT Delhi senate, which is due to meet on June 21, is likely to follow suit.
The HRD minister, on his part, has said the decision comes after two years of deliberations with the IITs and is a unanimous one. He, however, has also said that he is "ready to talk if anyone says that the IITs' autonomy is being jeopardised."
Every year, over five lakh students take the entrance exam for IITs - there are 10,000 seats available, including quota seats.