More than 100 faculty members attended a special meeting of the IIT-Bombay senate on Wednesday, to discuss proposed reforms in the joint entrance exam (JEE), which determines entrance to the Indian Institutes of Technology.
After the meeting chaired by institute director Devang Khakhar, the senate issued a draft resolution stating that the reforms should not be rushed through in 2013-14, as proposed, and that all changes must first be ratified by it.
The central IIT Council, comprising IIT directors and other officials, had last year proposed several changes in the exam and admissions process, based on the recommendations of the Dr T Ramasami Committee.
Among those changes was a proposal to give 40% weightage to students' board exam marks during admission, using a percentile formula to normalise scores across different boards.
In February, the IIT-Delhi and IIT-Kanpur senates were also specially convened to discuss the proposed JEE reforms. Both issued resolutions saying the reforms should be given more thought and not implemented in a hurry. The minutes of the IIT-Kanpur meeting also stated that the IIT Council went against the Indian Institute of Technology Act, 1961, by accepting the Ramasami report without consulting the senates on it.
"The feedback from the senate will be put forth to the IIT Council's secretariat," said Khakhar of IIT-Bombay. "I don't know what will happen next. I cannot speculate."
The final resolutions and minutes of the IIT-B senate meeting are yet to be drawn up and senate members have been asked to send their feedback on the issue before they are finalised.
"How can you even compare marks across different boards, which are so different in standard and style," said one senate member. "And what about the cheating and copying that happens in so many state board examinations? How reliable are such marks for making admission merit lists?"