JEE Main, JEE Advanced to be merged from 2015

All engineering colleges, including IITs, will have to conduct common counselling for students in 2014

New Delhi: All central government-funded engineering schools, including the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), will select students through a common entrance examination in 2015, merging the existing two-tier joint entrance examination (JEE), the human resource ministry has decided.

As a precursor to the new admission format, all engineering colleges will have to conduct common counselling for students in 2014, according to the government decision.
Currently, the JEE-Main is used as a selection examination for all central government-funded technical schools, including the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and the Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs), while students opting for the IITs need to clear the JEE-Advanced examination.
The top 150,000 students of the main examination are eligible to sit for the JEE-Advanced test for a seat in the 16 IITs and Indian School of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad.
The human resource ministry has decided to merge the JEE-Advanced and JEE-Main entrance exams from next year and the IITs have been informed about it, said Ashok Thakur, higher education secretary.
In 2012, the government devised the two-tier JEE system, after almost a year of protests and deliberation with the IITs and other top technical schools, to reduce the influence of coaching centres on aspirants for the top technical colleges and making the admission process simpler for students.
“For this year, our agenda is that we want to have common counselling,” Thakur said. “We are very keen on joint counselling. That’s the issue and we want to get after them (IITs). Last year, we tried but IIT Delhi (the coordinating IIT) was very adamant.”
Under the current format, the IITs conduct student counselling first, followed by the NITs and other top schools, which are carried out after a month, especially after the Class-12 school board results are available. India has more than 23 school boards.
While the IITs and ISM admit more than 9,600 students a year at the undergraduate level, other top schools admit more than 25,000 students. At least 1.4 million students appeared for the JEE-Main exam last year and the top 150,000 sat for the JEE-Advanced test.
“This (two separate counsellings) defeats the purpose of a central exam. What we are asking them is to prepare one merit list,” said Thakur. The general perception is that IITs feel that they are a cut above the rest and it’s not advisable for them to sit with other technology and engineering schools.
The students of many NITs are very good and joint counselling will help the students and engineering schools in not just reducing hassles but will also help to reduce the number of seats falling vacant, says Thakur.
About 600 seats at the IITs and the NITs fell vacant in 2012 because of separate counselling that allows a candidate to receive offers from an IIT as well as an NIT at the same time.
A candidate who gets an offer from an IIT and an NIT hangs on to the IIT seat while waiting for his choice of subject in an NIT. By the time the candidate decides on the final place to join, it is often too late for the colleges to fill up these vacant seats. Under the proposed common counselling system, a student will get only one choice. If a candidate does not accept it, then he will be given the option to join another school.
“The effort should be to make life easier for students. I don’t know about common counselling but if that reduces vacant seats, then it’s good. But from a student’s point of view, a good college with a good subject choice is very important,” said Amit Kumar Biswal, a JEE-aspirant from Hyderabad this year.
The IITs said the plan for a joint counselling may not yield the desired results. “Earlier, we used to do one round of counselling for admitting students, the government told us to do twice and then three rounds and we have done that. But has the situation improved? I don’t think so. Students take admission and then leave for a better course or leave for a foreign school later. How will you fill up those seats?” said H.C. Gupta, a professor of IIT-Delhi and chairman of the IIT-JEE Advanced exam last year.
A senior administrator from another leading IIT said a one-exam system is not a desirable format. “Once the new government comes, they may take a different view than what the present government thinks,” the official said, requesting anonymity.
Source : Live Mint (& The Wall Street Journal)

JEE (Main) 2014: Last Date Extended by CBSE

On receiving a request from Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and aspirants of JEE (Main) 2014, the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) has extended the last date for filling up of online application form for the exam.

The request has been made due to the fact that the Govt. of Madhya Pradesh decided to participate in JEE (Main) after the start of process of application form. So, in view of this fact and in the interest of aspirants of JEE (Main) – 2014, the last date for filling up of online application form has been extended up to 06 January 2014.

It is further informed that the other terms and conditions for filling up the application form will remain same.  The last date for filling up of application form for JEE (Main) 2014 shall not be extended any further.

Source : Jagran Josh

Dated: 27th Dec

IITs agree to get accredited; JEE format to continue

NEW DELHI: After dilly-dallying for years, IITs have agreed to get themselves accredited by theNational Board of Accreditation (NBA), the premier accreditation body in the country. However, considering their high academic standards, IITs have been given the freedom to carry out the review themselves and submit the report to NBA.

IITs have also been asked to work towards reinforcing the brand so that it has better chances of making it to prestigious ‘QS Ranking’ of best institutions. IITs have also decided to continue with this year’s format of JEE (advanced) test without any change.

Talking to reporters at the end of the IIT Council meeting on Monday, HRD minister M M Pallam Raju said IITs agreeing for accreditation would help India become a part of the Washington Accord, an international agreement among accrediting agencies of 14 nations that recognizes engineering degree programmes of each other.

India is now a provisional member of the Washington Accord. One of the main criteria for any country to be part of the Accord is that its engineering degrees should be accredited. So far, IITs were lukewarm towards fulfilling this condition.

Raju said, “IIT directors felt that the annual review they subject themselves to will be enough and in line with the Washington Accord.” The minister had to face a volley of questions as to why an exception was being made for IITs and would it mean other engineering institutions also seek similar internal assessment instead of the one done by the NBA. Education secretary Ashok Thakur said, “IITs proposal would be now taken to the NBA.”

As decided in the last IIT Council meeting, performance review of directors once a year based on the vision and mission of the institute was also taken up. So far, review reports of directors of IIT Patna, Roorkee and Guwahati have been received. The review is to be done by the chairman of the board of governors of each IIT. In June, HRD ministry had written to the IIT Council seeking quick implementation.

The external peer review to be done once every five years by a committee of five eminent persons from industry and academia and an annual in-house department review was also decided in the last council meeting. But IIT Council in its meeting in July had requested that timeline for the review should be revised. On Monday the new timeline suggested by the IIT Council was considered. Now, the internal departmental review would be completed by December 2013. For external peer review, a panel of ten names of eminent persons from industry and academia would be sent to the HRD ministry by October.

Raju said in order to augment the number of PhDs from IITs, as suggested by the Anil Kakodkar committee, a number of decisions were taken in the last meeting. Kakodkar had said at least 10,000 PhDs should be graduating from 2024-25. Raju said one of the actions taken at the behest of HRD ministry was to request the chairman of National Coordination Board (NCB) of Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) to allow third year BTech students from centrally funded technical institutions with Cumulative Performance Index of 7.00 to appear in GATE. Though Raju said it has already been implemented, the agenda document states that the GATE-NCB has referred the matter to the Kakodkar committee.

Other proposals to enhance PhD output were also discussed. This included giving option to a student after first year of a two-year MTech programme to switch to a dual degree of MTech and PhD. Students would get PhD fellowship for four years.

Another proposal is to induct the best BTech students from other Indian institutions at the end of their third year into a PhD programme at one of the IITs. The students have to be amongst the top 10% of their institution at the end of the third year. There is also a suggestion to start PhD for people working in industry and they would have to finish course work using National Knowledge Network.

As for financial autonomy, it was decided that if IITs raise 30% of non-plan expenditure themselves, a matching grant would be given by the government.

Source: Times of India

JEE-Advanced may become a computer-based exam next year

MUMBAI: Next year, the JEE-Advanced may change from being a paper-pencil entrance exam to a computer-based one. The decision on the switch will be taken when the Joint Admission Board meets in early September.

On Sunday, members of the board, the highest body that takes decisions on admissions to theIndian Institutes of Technology (IITs), said the JEE-Advanced in 2014 could be offered as a computer-based exam since “it is the way forward”.

“We discussed a proposal to offer the test on computer or, at least, to keep it as an option in the first year,” said IIT-Bombay director Devang Khakhar. He said the rollout looked possible since candidate numbers had dropped to 1.5 lakh.

A total of 12.82 lakh high-school graduates applied to take the JEE (Main) exam in 2013 when India took its big step towards the ‘one nation, one exam system’. Among them, only 1.74 lakh candidates took the computer-based test. The next level, which is the JEE (Advanced) test for admissions to the IITs, received 1.5 lakh candidates.

IIT-Kharagpur, which is in charge of conducting the JEE (Advanced) for 2014, will parse through the 2013 database. “As a starting point, we’ll see how many of the students who qualified for the IIT (Advanced) took the main test on computer,” said an IIT official.

Some logistical deviations will have to be considered. “We’ll have to run the computer-based tests and the paper-pen tests at the same time at all the centres across India,” he said. “We’ll have to be extremely cautious.”

Source: TOI

Source TOI

CBSE makes 25% marks in summative assessment mandatory to qualify for exam.

NEW DELHI: Continuous and Comprehensive Evaluation (CCE) is not going to be a cakewalk any longer. From the current academic session class IX and X students of the Central Board of Secondary Education will not only have to appear for both the summative assessments (SA), but also score a minimum of 25% taken together to qualify for the examination.

Earlier students were graduated to the subsequent class if he/ she scores 33% in the complete assessment which includes four formative assessments and two SAs. There was no minimum pass marks for the SAs, which is the written examination conducted at the end of the two semesters.

The executive committee of the Board earlier this year has decided it would be mandatory for a student to appear in both the SAs in both classes IX and X. In case of non-appearance in SA1 due to illness the students will get an additional chance to appear by October 31 and in case of missing SA2 the student need to appear within a period of one month from the date of declaration of the results for class IX students. Similarly class X students too need to appear again for the exams in case they miss out.

But what is significant here is that students cannot pass an exam by simply grossing 33% any longer. They have score a minimum 25% in SA1 and 2 combined, which is 15 marks out of a total of 60 marks and a total of at least 33% in each of the five subjects of scholastic area.

According to chairman of CBSE, Vineet Joshi, the changes has been incorporated in the CCE scheme based on the feedback received from schools, students and parents. “Students were missing out on the practice of writing and therefore in the long run they may be at a disadvantage in terms of written communication. There are a total of two FAs in an academic year of which one is a written exam. But we have realized that it is not sufficient as they are more of multiple choice or short answers type. Therefore, it has been decided that students need to take the SAs seriously as well and just 33% will not be sufficient to pass the exam. One has to pass the SAs, which is to score a minimum of 25%.”

The board, however, has exempted from appearing in any one of the SA for students participating in sports at international or national level subject to prior approval.

Source: TOI

IIT board may review entrance test format

IITs’ Joint Admission Board (JAB), which is to meet over the weekend, is likely to revisit the format of JEE (Advanced).

R K Shevgaonkar, director of IIT-Delhi, told TOI, “We could look into the present criterion of taking only top 20 percentile of successful class XII students from each Board. Till last year the standard class XII cut-off across India was 60%. We could revisit it.” The criterion of top 20 percentile of successful class XII students resulted in wide variation of cut-offs across Boards.

Shevgaonkar said nothing is finalized yet. Many suggestions are being discussed. One suggestion is to have a fixed cut-off for large Boards and for smaller ones the 20 percentile formula could be used. “IIT Senate that is likely to meet on September 3 would look into the entire gamut of change that can be brought in. But this year’s JEE (Advanced) has thrown few issues that needs to be discussed,” he said.

Shevgaonkar says there is a need to relook at the whole system. For instance, this year only 1.5 lakh students who were successful in JEE (Main) could appear for JEE (Advanced). “Question is should we look at 1.5 lakh students. If number becomes small should we make the examination subjective,” he says.

Within the IIT system there is a strong opinion that the new criterion of 20 percentile, which became contentious, could have been avoided with a firmer criterion. Due to wrong calculation of 20 percentile cut-off by state Boards, especially Andhra Pradesh, 79 students could not get into the IITs despite having the right score in JEE (Advanced). Andhra Board calculated the percentile on the basis of total number of students who appeared in class XII examination in the state whereas it had to be done on the basis of number of students who passed. As a result, many students suffered. Cut-off per cent increased when percentile was calculated on the basis of number of students who passed their class XII examination.

Source : Times of India

High court summons CBSE official over IIT mess

Justice RameshRanganathan of the high court on Thursday directed a senior officer of the Central Board of Secondary Education ( CBSE) to appear before the court on July 17 along with records to explain hownormalisation has been worked out and applied for IIT (Advanced) examination.

The judge was dealing with a batch of writ petitions filed by one L Sharat and others. They complained that while making admissions to the National Institute of Technologies (NIT), formerly Regional Engineering Colleges (REC), students who scored high marks in JEE (Advanced), were put to disadvantage in the name of normalisation. Gandra Mohan Rao, counsel for the petitioners, produced a bunch of mark sheets and comparative tables to demonstrate how, in the name of normalization, students of the state were being deprived of seats in premier institutions like NITs.

The judge sought to know how the normalisation process was being arrived at. Justice Ranganathan warned that the court will not tolerate any delay in filing counter affidavit. He said prima facie there seems to be something amiss.

Source:Times of India

All India Quota UG Medical/ Dental Seats – 2013 Online Allotment process (Online Counseling)

The Hon’ble Supreme Court of India vide order dated 07.06.2012 in I.A. No. 35/2012 in Writ Petition (Civil) No 443 of 1992 in the matter of Sharwan Kumar Vs Directorate General of Health Services and Anr has directed the Directorate General of Health Services, Ministry of Health & Family Welfare to hold Online Counseling for 15% All India Quota undergraduate MBBS/BDS seats.

In order to comply with these directions Ministry of Health and Family Welfare has constituted a Medical Counseling Committee (MCC).

Online Counseling shall be conducted on the basis of NEET-UG Result 2013 declared by the CBSE, New Delhi.

Counseling Process: 
a. Main Counseling Registration 
b. Exercising of Choices, indicative seats and Locking of choices(upto 5:00 PM, as per server time of the date) 
c. Process of Seat Allotment – Round 1 
d. Round 1 Result Publication 
e. Reporting at the allotted Medical/Dental College against 1st Round (upto 5:00 PM, as per server time of the date) 
f. Process of Seat Allotment -Round 2 
g. Round 2 Result Publication 
h. Reporting at the allotted Medical / Dental Colleges against Round 2 (upto 5:00 PM, as per server time of the date) 
i. Publication of net vacant seats 
j. Fresh Choice Submission & locking of choices by all eligible candidates for round 3 (upto 5:00 PM, as per server time of the date) 
k. Process of Seat Allotment – Round 3 
l. Round 3 Result Publication 
m. Reporting at the Medical / Dental Colleges /Institutions against Round 3 (upto 5:00 PM, as per server time of the date) 

769 Vacant seats at IITs

The IITs will have to go for a second round of admissions as 769 candidates have refused to take admission.

“While there are seats available in every IIT, most vacant seats are at ISM-Dhanbad. IT-BHU (now an IIT), which used to have many unfilled seats, does not have as many vacancies this year. It has improved,” JEE (advanced) chairman H C Gupta said.

Earlier, students who took admission were offered opportunities to improve performance before the second allotment. So, if a student with a ranking of 1,100 did not take the seat allotted, another with a lower ranking got that place (if he opted for that subject in the preference form).

After the first round closed in 2009, 505 seats were unfilled; in 2011, 300-odd seats were vacant and came up in the second round. But until a few years ago, IITs did not conduct a second round of admissions and unfilled seats used to be transferred to the preparatory programme, a bridge course to bring quota students to the mark.


Source: Times of India