Engineering aspirants across India may soon for the first time have a direct say in deciding a common new examination system for admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology and all other engineering colleges.
A government panel, set up to finalise a roadmap to replace the IIT Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) and multiple other engineering entrance tests with a single admission test, has decided to seek views of citizens before penciling its blueprint.
"We will take a little time to finalise the blueprint and will take feedback from all stakeholders," science and technology ministry secretary T Ramasami, chairman of the panel, said.
The panel, constituted by HRD minister Kapil Sibal last year, will set up a website and invite suggestions and comments from students, teachers, alumni and other stakeholders, he said.
The move comes after a panel set up under IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya with an almost identical mandate in 2009 proposed a blueprint for reforming the IIT-JEE without inviting public comments or meeting students and teachers.
The Acharya panel's recommendations were unacceptable to both IIT faculty. Several alumni also protested the Acharya panel's proposal.
"The Ramasami panel's decision is wise. There is no need to rush through with reforms that will impact millions. It is better if all stakeholders are consulted,' a government source said.
Ramasami said he had already met over 200 students and had inducted, as the suggestion of the HRD minister, a nearly fresh IIT graduate.
"The idea is to understand the perspective of IIT students and graduates as well," he said.
He said he also planned to visit IITs and other campuses and discuss the proposals with faculty in face-to-face meetings.
Ramasami is to detail his plans at a meeting of the IIT Council on January 21.