HRD secretary roots for reform in unscientific IIT-JEE

NEW DELHI: JEE-Advanced,  the entrance test for admission into IITs, is “unscientific” and needs to be “reformed”, Union Human Resources Development secretary (higher education) R Subrahmanyam has told The New Indian Express.

The remark comes in the wake of the fiasco over this year’s announcement of JEE-Advanced results with fewer students than required to fill about 12,000 seats being declared “qualified”.

On the government’s intervention, IIT Kanpur—the organising institute of JEE-Advanced 2018 —lowered the cut-off and included about 13,000 more students in the list of about 18,000 earlier announced as having qualified.

“The problem arose because the entrance test pattern followed by the IITs is too strict and the difficulty level of questions is too high… they are probably testing scholars rather than students passing out of Class XII. IITs want to ensure that only those who can cope with the demanding course become part of the system but it needs to be examined,” Subrahmanyam said. “We need to understand that we have to look for undergraduate students, not Einsteins,” he added.

The issue of introducing changes in JEE-Advanced will be discussed in the next meeting of the IIT council—of which Prakash Javadekar is chairman—scheduled for August 21.

“ The IITs and the ministry work hand in hand on several issues and the institutes are given due respect by the government. We hope that required autonomy will be allowed to maintain the level of excellence we have reached,” a senior member on the IIT exam organising committee said.

Experts said that because of the high difficulty level of the JEE-Advanced, only a small percentage of candidates would have qualified the test every year but for the grace marks awarded for errors in question papers.

“Since the question paper was error-free this time and no grace marks were given, such a small pool of students reached the overall cut-off of 35 per cent (for general category). But this will happen every year if things are not altered for good,” said an IIT professor in Delhi.

What the Government thinks is wrong with JEE-advanced:

  • The difficulty level of questions is too high.
  • Students are getting pushed to coaching.
  • The examination tests students at a much higher level than Class 12.
  • There is no scope for average students to get into IITs.

Source : The New Indian Express 

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