Students from Bihar have sought the intervention of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rescind the decision to conduct the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE)-Advanced for admission to prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) online from next year.The Joint Admission Board (JAB), responsible for laying down the policy for the examination, took the decision in August to conduct the exam online in order to make logistics and evaluations easier.Pankaj Kumar Kapadia, an alumnus of IIT-Delhi, who is leading the protest, sent an email to the Prime Minister’s Office on Tuesday. He also tweeted their concern by tagging the Prime Minister and Union human resource development minister Prakash Javadekar on August 23.The students feel that many meritorious students from rural India, especially Bihar and other less developed states, would be at a grossly disadvantageous position if the exam is conducted online because they are not computer savvy.Demanding a level playing field for all students, they argued the government should first make computers available in rural schools before making the test online.The students have already written to the Union HRD minister and to Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar on September 8 urging the later to take up the issue with the Centre.“Already grappling to overcome the English language barrier, many of us who had earlier not even touched the mouse of a computer will now have to write the exam on a computer. It is like eliminating them in the very beginning. They deserve the right to equality,” Kapadia, the son of a cloth merchant from Nasriganj block in Rohtas district, said.HT photoRahul Kumar (white T-shirt), son of a marginalised farmer and rickshaw puller, who made it to the IIT-Mumbai last year. (HT photo)Kapadia, a student of Super-30, took admission at IIT Delhi in 2006 to study chemical engineering.He cited another example of the son of a Muzaffarpur-based marginalised farmer and rickshaw puller, Rahul Kumar, who knew neither English nor computers but made it to IIT Bombay in his first attempt last year.The government earlier made it optional to take the JEE-Mains test online. Of the 118,600 lakh candidates who registered for JEE Mains 2017, only 165,000 took the exam online and 956,000 opted for the conventional pen and paper based exam.Students vying for admission to National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and other centrally-funded technical institutions need to clear the JEE-Mains. Only the top few who clear the JEE-Mains qualify for the next level of JEE-Advanced.More than 150,000 students took the JEE Advanced in 2017.