If the institutions and the government have their way then the National Institutes of Technology might not give any weightage to the class XII board examinations as far as admitting students for B.Tech is concerned.
According to an NIT director the institutes along with the other centrally funded technical institutions (CFTIs) such as the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) were more likely to follow the IITS example and admit students on the basis of their JEE Advanced score.
The Director stated,” There will be no need for giving weightage to board marks.”
At present under the existing system the students are admitted to the IITs based on their performance in the JEE Advanced that is the second exam in the two tier test after the CBSE conducted JEE Main.
It is estimated that over 12 lakh students take the JEE Main but only the top two lakh are eligible to take the JEE Advanced.
While the IIT’s do not give any weightage to the board marks however in order to be eligible for selection the aspirants need to score at least 75 percent in their board exam or be among the top 20 percentile holders irrespective of their performance in the JEE Advanced.
Till now the NITs, IIITs and a few other engineering institutes have been following the 60:40 system to admit students in which the 60% weightage is given to the JEE Main score and 40% to class XII board marks. These institutes do not follow any eligibility criteria but could introduce cut-offs once the weightage for board exam goes.
The earlier government introduced the weightage for board marks with the idea that the students then would focus more on school education rather than private tuitions to crack entrance exams.
But this government set up two panels one of which was headed by IIT Bombay Director Devang Khakkar and the other one by Rajat Moona, director general, Centre for Development of Advanced Computing. Both the panels recommended scrapping the weightage for board marks while admitting students to the NITs from 2016.
The Moona committee found that there was an increase in the percentage of students taking private coaching after the system for giving the weightage to board marks was introduced.
Then another panel was set up by the HRD ministry that was headed by the IIT Roorkee chairman Ashok Misra. The panel submitted its report in November in which it too recommended the scrapping of the weightage given to the board marks for NIT admissions and there should be one engineering entrance test, possibly from 2018.
The panel further stated that the aspiring engineers must have to clear a SAT-like National Aptitude Test to be eligible to appear for the entrance test.
According to the sources in the HRD ministry there is an agreement between the IITs and CFTIs that from 2017 the admission of the students should be done on the basis of their performance in the JEE Advanced.
The Mishra committee in its report submitted to the government suggested the setting up of National Testing Service (NTS) as an independent body to conduct the aptitude test modelled on SAT held for admissions to US colleges.
If the sources in the HRD ministry are to be believed then the NTS might be set up this year and start operating from 2018. According to them the aptitude test would be held more than once a year so that the students can improve upon their scores.