Aye and nye. That’s the response to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal’s proposal that the minimum requirement of 60 per cent in Boards needed to appear in the IIT joint entrance exam be raised to around 80 per cent. “I’m in total agreement,” says Apurva Malhotra, a class XI student and an IIT hopeful. “My friends and I are living crazily — attending school, coaching classes, and more classes. This step might just help us focus more on school, and have it easier,” he adds.
This, precisely, is Sibal’s point, who says the government wants “to rid the students of coaching centers”. But that’s easier said than done. “If the bar at plus two is raised, the coaching centers would mushroom at the college level,” warns Aakash Chaudhry, director of Aakash Institute. Chaudhry adds, “Schools are supposed to hone the all-round personality of students. If they start training kids for, say, IIT entrance, which demands focussed academic input, they would lose the bigger picture.”
However, IITian Utkarsh Kawatra is “fine” with Sibal’s idea. “Getting 80 per cent in CBSE is less stressful than getting through IIT. If board results are made a criteria, the aspirants won’t ignore schools for coaching lessons,” says the second year student at IIT Delhi. But not everyone is gung-ho about the plan. Delhi Technologcal University lecturer Susheel Kumar Singh, says, “Someone who gets 80 per cent in CBSE might not get even 60 per cent in UP Boards. How would you balance that dichotomy?”