"We had been, since the beginning, suggesting this new pattern should be implemented from 2014, but to no avail. Though incorporating board marks for admission to IITs is a good move, the new format was implemented in a hurry, without much thought," said Gautam Barua, director, IIT-Guwahati.
"The new IIT JEE has complicated the entire admission process," said Devang Khakhar, director, IIT-Bombay.
Last year, then MHRD minister Kapil Sibal had cleared the proposal to hold the JEE in two parts-main and advanced. Students applying to the IITs have to appear for JEE-main. Of these students, only the top 1,50,000 are eligible for JEE-advanced. For final admission to the 16 IITs, based on JEE-advanced, a student has to be among the top 20 percentile in his respective standard-XII board.
While the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) conducts JEE-main, JEE-advanced is conducted by IIT-Delhi.
Coaching institutes have said the new process of normalisation has made it difficult for deserving students to qualify. The director of a Kota-based coaching institute said, "If a student from Tripura who secured 58 per cent marks in board exams is selected, while one from Andhra Pradesh with 80 per cent isn't, there could be flaws in the system."
"We need to discuss with Indian Statistical Institute (which had prepared the formula for normalisation) experts how real is the issue and whether it a problem on a larger scale. Only after such an analysis can any change be proposed in the process," said a senior IIT official.
Meanwhile, members of the IIT alumni associations are set to go on an agitation later this month to protest against the new system. Somnath Bharti, ex-president of IIT-Delhi Alumni Association and a Supreme Court lawyer, said the matter was sub judice. "We are looking at engaging directly with ministry officials on this issue. It is very unfortunate that these issues have cropped up," he said.
MHRD officials said the Andhra Pradesh government had taken up the issue in a high court.
'State boards interpreted 20% rule differently'
At a meeting between Human Resource Development Minister Pallam Raju and IIT officials on Wednesday, it was said in the case of the new JEE norms, while the IITs had meant the 20 percentile rule was applicable for students clearing JEE-advanced, state boards had taken it as applicable to 20 per cent of the students appearing for JEE-main.
"The method of calculation of the top 20 percentile had been clearly stated by us from day one. Therefore, we presented this to the minister…we wouldn't make any change to it. However, state boards used a different formula for normalisation and this resulted in the confusion," said a senior IIT official who attended the meeting. It was also decided IITs would draw up a list of students affected by the new rule and hold another meeting to address the issue.