Students aspiring for the IITs will have to take their Class XII boards a lot more seriously now. They may have to score substantially more than 60 per cent to qualify to take the entrance test.
“A qualifying mark of 60 per cent is not enough,” said human resource development minister Kapil Sibal on Monday, announcing a plan to raise the qualifying percentage from the current 60 per cent.
“It should be 75 or 80 percent,” Sibal said after a meeting with the IIT council, the apex decision-making body for the elite engineering institutes.
The new cut-off is expected in 2011.
Admission to IIT is among the toughest challenges for science stream students and 3.85 lakh of them took the test — the IIT JEE (JEE stands for joint entrance examin) — in 2009.
The government said it wants to raise the bar not to make it prohibitive for students, but to squeeze out the hundreds of coaching institutes who thrive by selling hope to unrealistic aspirants.
“Part of the solution (getting rid of the coaching system) is to increase the weight given to Class XII exam as a criterion for taking the IIT-JEE,” said the minister.
But at least one coaching institute said getting rid of them was not a solution. “There is a gap between what the Class XII produces and what engineering institutes want,” said Jaideep Singh Chawdhary of T.I.M.E., an institute for competitive exams. “That is where we come in.”
Students too were guarded in their response.
Sukriti Manchanda of DAV, Gurgaon said, “Not too much weight should be put on Class XII exams.” She scored 90 per cent but couldn’t make it to any good engineering institute.
“Many students do not do well in the boards but do excellently well in competitive exams,” said Ramneek Chawla an IIT aspirant from Delhi, asking, “What about them?”
The government also set up two committees to look at administrative and academic reforms at the IITs.