Twin factors scuttle engineering joint admissions
OUR SPECIAL CORRESPONDENT
New Delhi, July 15: Tardy preparations and the fear of courtroom reverses prompted the Indian Institutes of Technology and the National Institutes of Technology to drop their plan to have joint seat allocations from this year.
Joint allocation would have reduced vacancies at either set of institutions, but the IITs backed out and began their own selection process on July 2.
H.C. Gupta, chairman of the exam through which the IITs admit students, cited two reasons.
One, the failure to test software developed for joint seat allocation. Two, the slew of court cases challenging the admission reforms introduced this year for the NITs — if successful, they would have jeopardised IIT admissions too in case of joint selection.
The IIT selections were wrapped up today. Counselling is now on at the NITs after the Supreme Court last week refused to stay admissions while hearing a case against the selection criteria adopted.
Earlier, the Union human resource development ministry had set up a Joint Seat Allotment Committee under an IIT Delhi professor, G.B. Reddy, to handle the common admission process.
Reddy said that under the plan, students who made it to both the IIT and NIT merit lists would have had to choose any one of the two.
This would have stopped students from blocking seats in both sets of tech schools and quitting one at the end of the separate admission processes — a practice that left the IITs with over 300 vacancies last year. The NITs had a similar number of vacancies too.
An IIT teacher said a common admission process would also have saved time. Traditionally, the NITs start their selection process shortly after the IITs do, and many candidates wait for both to finish before deciding where to study.
The human resource development ministry had asked the Centre for Development of Advanced Computing to prepare the new software for the joint seat allocation.
The centre was to open a new website to publish the seat allocations (earlier, the IIT and NIT allocations were posted on different websites). The website hasn’t been opened.
Despite efforts, no comments could be obtained from the centre’s director-general, Rajat Moona.
From this year, the admission processes at the IITs and the NITs have undergone several changes, from the eligibility criteria to the entrance tests.
A two-phase entrance exam, made up of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Main and the JEE Advanced, has replaced the IIT-JEE and the All India Engineering Entrance Examination.
The NITs are admitting students on the basis of a 60:40 weightage given to their JEE Main scores and board marks, the latter “normalised” to remove the discrepancies in evaluation between the various higher secondary boards.
For the IITs, the eligibility criterion for candidates is a place among the top 20 percentile rankers from their board. Eligible candidates are admitted solely on the basis of their JEE Advanced score.
Many students have challenged the NIT criteria in various courts, some contesting the policy of giving weightage to board marks and some questioning the normalisation process.