Students preparing for JEE 2017 may not have to give an aptitude test as there may not be any change in the existing two-tier pattern of JEE main and advanced, sources said.
The JEE is a national common entrance examination conducted to provide admissions to several engineering courses, including the prestigious Indian Institutes of Engineering (IITs).
In October last year, the human resources development (HRD) ministry had formed a committee to suggest changes to the present joint entrance exam, which recommended introducing an aptitude test. But it is learnt that the ministry, after studying the committee’s suggestion, remains undecided. A section of stakeholders feels that any new aptitude exam, which is online, may be against the interests of the rural and socially backward students.
Ministry sources said that in search of a consensus, there may not be any change from the existing pattern.
The report was prepared by a group of experts led by academician Ashok Mishra to test “the scientific thinking”. The committee had recommended that a National Authority for Testing (NAT) be formed that would hold tests on the basis of which around four lakh students would be shortlisted for JEE.
The committee held JEE itself will be along the lines of current JEE (advanced), designed to test knowledge in physics, chemistry and mathematics, and conducted by IITs. The Central Board of Secondary Examination (CBSE) currently conducts JEE-Main while IITs conduct JEE-Advanced.
Also, designing a cognitive test is bound to be a time-consuming exercise — it seems unlikely the ministry will be able to implement the committee’s suggestions soon.
The committee had also suggested that no weightage be given to board exams for National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs). Currently, 40% weight is given to Class 12 board marks for admission into NITs and CFTIs. The committee had recommended that the 40% weightage given to the marks at the JEE (Main) level be discontinued.
“But it was pointed out that when weightage has been given to the class 12 boards, the girls and rural students could do better. Keeping these equity issues in mind, the ministry is contemplating not to change this system for 2017,” said a senior official.