IIT Kanpur to conduct its own entrance test from 2013

Kanpur: Rejecting Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal’s ‘one nation, one test’ proposal, the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kanpur, has decided it will conduct its own entrance test to undergraduate programmes from next year.

IIT Delhi is also likely to follow the Kanpur model and hold its own entrance tests for 2013

In a resolution, IIT Kanpur’s 210-member senate  slammed the proposed common entrance test, and said the “decision was academically and methodically unsound and in violation of the IIT Act.”

A senate consists largely of professors who are made responsible by the IIT Act of 1961, “for the maintenance of standards of instruction, education and examination.”

The students of IIT Kanpur have also strongly condemned the proposed common entrance test. (Read)
The proposal to hold a common test under the new format was cleared at a meeting of the Councils of Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) on May 28 chaired by Mr Sibal.

Mr Sibal had, on Thursday, said that senates of IIT Guwahati, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkee had suggested the final formulation. “Guwahati, Kharagpur, Madras and Roorkie were the four supporters of it. Incidentally, as far as Bombay is concerned, they also supported,” he said.

The common entrance exam would have two steps – a “main” and “advanced” stage. The results of Class 12 board exams would also play a role in deciding whether a student gets into an engineering college.

Engineering colleges will use a 40:30:30 formula – with Class 12 board results counting for 40 per cent, and the two stages of the entrance exam counting for 30 per cent each.

Some IIT officials objected  to this one-size-fits-all formula and won the right to form their own criteria. Starting next year, most IITs will give equal weightage (50 per cent each) to Class 12 results and to the performance of the candidate in the main exam. 50,000 shortlisted students will then move on to the advanced exam.

But striking a note of dissent, the IIT-Kanpur faculty federation had last week called the introduction of this new format a “breach of trust.”

“The examination announced by the HRD Ministry is a unilateral decision of IIT Council against the advice and decisions of IIT-Kanpur Senate, which has the prerogative of deciding its admission criteria,” it said in a statement.

The All India Faculty Federation of India has written to the Prime Minister’s Office, asking for Dr Manmohan Singh’s intervention. Members of the federation are scheduled to meet Dr Singh on Tuesday.

The IIT Delhi Alumni Association has also threatened to sue Mr Sibal over the decision. The body has also sought an appointment with the Prime Minister, slamming the HRD ministry for what they call “tampering with the autonomy of the insitutions”.

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