Two more centres of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) may join its Kanpur and Delhi branches in holding their own admission tests from next year, further challenging HRD minister Kapil Sibal's plan for a common engineering entrance exam.
Faculty members influential in the senates of IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-Bombay said they were veering towards rejecting Sibal's proposal - which is of using board marks and an all-India test to screen candidates and then making them appear for a final exam conducted by the IITs.IIT-Kharagpur is holding its emergency senate meeting next week while IIT-Bombay's senate is scheduled to meet on July 5.
Sources in IIT-Roorkee and IIT-Guwahati said they were waiting for Kharagpur and Bombay to decide.
"If IIT-Bombay and IIT-Kharagpur go with Kanpur and Delhi, we may well follow suit," a senior IIT-Roorkee faculty member said.
IIT-Madras was the only one to have decided in its senate to back Sibal's plan.
The tussle between the HRD ministry and IIT teachers has left hundreds of thousands of students, who either completed school this year or are in class 12, confused about what to expect next year.
IIT teachers continue to protest despite concessions made by Sibal.
"I am willing to talk to the faculty at any time they want," he told HT earlier this week.
The Joint Admission Board, which decides on admissions to the IITs, is meeting on Saturday while the ministry has called an emergency meeting of the IIT Council - the highest decision-making body of the IITs headed by Sibal - on June 27.
The council meeting may prove to be a last-ditch effort to evolve consensus on the proposed examination reforms.