HindustanTimes Fri,26 Dec 2014
Higher IIT 20 percentile cut-offs, experts say need to review system
Vanita Srivastava, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, July 06, 2014
First Published: 01:00 IST(6/7/2014)
Last Updated: 01:03 IST(6/7/2014)

The top 20 percentile norm for eligibility for IIT entrance tests has once again created a ripple among academicians.

This is mainly because the cut-off to get into the top 20 percentile, of different boards, has gone up this year. Academicians strongly feel there should be an urgent review on this new format of IIT admissions introduced two years ago.

Children have performed better this year across different boards -- as has been revealed by the higher 20 percentile cuts-offs that were put on the JEE(advanced) website on Tuesday.

Former president of the IIT Delhi Faculty Forum, Sanjeev Sanghi, told HT, “It has been two years since the format was introduced. It is time we go for a review and fix it at a certain level. We had earlier suggested that there should be an option of either 20 percentile or 80%, whichever is lower. The percentile system does not work favourably for the boards that give very high marks.”

Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor at IIT Kanpur, agrees. “The 20 percentile system is a good criteria for making students more focussed for boards. The problem arises when some boards start giving marks liberally. It has become like a lottery. While this does affect IIT admissions to some extent, the bigger problem is for NIT admissions. We should urgently review this format and what it is has achieved in two years.”

“It is a reflection that children are more serious towards their board exams. But at the same time the extremely high 20 percentile cut offs(90% and above) in some boards like the Andhra Board, Tamil Nadu board and the Karnataka board could cause resentment among many brilliant students. We must have a review of this system of admission,” says a former IIT professor.

The 20 percentile cut-offs for different boards this year varies from 93.03% in Andhra Pradesh board to 51% in Tripura.

The government had introduced this format for IIT selection in 2013 pushing students to do better in their board exams. In this format, only the top-20 percentile students from each board could be eligible to get admission in the IITs. Before 2013, the only eligibility criteria for admission to IITs was to get a 60 percent in board exams.

While the 20 percentile cut off for CBSE was 81.6% last year, this year it has increased to 83.2%. For Andhra Board this has increased from 91.8% to 93.03%, for Karnataka board from 86% to 93%, for ISC from 83.2% to 85%, Tamil Nadu board from 90.9% to 91.7%. Some boards like Andhra, Gujarat , Goa and Punjab have more than one system of marking for board exams and so have different 20 percentiles.

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