Road to IITs, NITs tougher for city students

  • Puja Pednekar and Apoorva Puranik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: May 26, 2015 00:48 IST

Entry to the coveted Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and National Institutes of Technology(NITs) will become difficult for city aspirants from the CBSE board this year, as they may not be able to match the board’s top 20 percentile. With the national toppers scoring over 99%, city students are lagging behind.

The reason: Tough English (functional), mathematics and physics papers. Students scored low in these three papers, which they complained were unusually difficult. Several students are planning to submit their marks for revaluation.

“I found all the papers tough,” said Mallika Fonseca, a science student from RN Podar School, Khar, who secured 97.4%. She secured 94 in English functional.

Avnita Bir, principal of the school, said low scores in the three subjects would affect the chances of engineering aspirants. “English is a mandatory subject and its marks are taken into account for admissions into most colleges,” said Bir. “Even institutes such as BITS Pilani look at the English score.”

The subject’s syllabus was revised this year and students were given no guidelines to prepare for the exam, experts said.

Students had complained about mathematics and physics papers, saying the High Order Thinking Skills (HOTS) questions were very difficult. “The poor show will affect IIT admissions, and hit NIT admissions as a cascading effect,” said Pravin Tyagi, head of the PACE Junior Colleges.

According to K Narsimhan, professor from IIT Bombay, while getting a seat in the more sought-after IITs will be difficult, those scoring above 75% – the eligibility criterion – can hope for a berth in the newer institutes. However, the normalisation process for JEE Main ranks, which is used for NIT admissions, depends largely on board marks, he said.

With English a common subject across streams, students from every stream have been hit by the low marks. “I am extremely disappointed with my English score. I plan to go for revaluation,” said A Sreegurupriya, 96.2%, commerce stream.

(Inputs from Aishwarya Iyer)

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