On Sunday, the country’s premier engineering schools, at a meeting of its Joint Admissions Board (JAB) — the top admissions body of the IITs — decided that they will not entertain any proposal for change in the top-20-percentile eligibility criterion for the moment. In other words, the admission norms and the paper pattern of JEE – Advance will remain the same next year.
As per the percentile criterion, which was introduced just this year, an aspirant can be eligible for admission to an IIT if one, in addition to having qualified JEE-Advance, is among the top 20 percentile candidates of one’s respective school board results.
HRD ministry’s suggestion for a review of this criterion came at a meeting called by HRD minister MM Pallam Raju in the second week of August after 79 aspirants were denied admission to the IITs despite getting initial offer as they did not meet the percentile cut-off marks of their respective schools boards.
Many of such aggrieved students were from Andhra Pradesh, who had cleared the entrance test but missed the 92% cut-off marks of Andhra Boards results by just one per cent.
The government’s proposal suggested that the top-20-percentile criterion could carry a rider from next year that a candidate who has cleared JEE-Advance will be eligible for admission if he/she is either in the top 20 percentile of the Class XII board examination or has secured at least 80% in the Boards exams, which ever is lower.
But the IITs, which have always been skeptical of government intervention and protective of their autonomy, have shot down the idea. “Officials and directors felt that we can’t decide to change an admission criterion without proper analysis. If some (school) boards are very liberal in marking their students, then what can we do?,”said a senior IIT official, who was present during the JAB meeting, referring to southern state boards where students tend to score very high marks. “We must complete at least two admission cycles before considering any changes,” he added.