Are NITs Planning To Go IITs Way?

We all know that the IITs use a selection procedure that is different from those used by NITs. IITs use the scores of JEE-Main only for screening and then administers JEE-Advanced to the selected ones for the purpose of final selection into IITs. As only top two lakh students can appear in JEE Advanced, it goes without saying that only the cream students get through it.

The final selection list of IITs is prepared based on the scores obtained in the JEE Advanced. An eligibility criterion of 75 percent or 80 percentile (the lower of the two) in the board exams is also considered, though.

Which way are NITs planning to go?

National Institute of Technology or NITs are prestigious educational institutes in India. Known as REC (Regional Engineering College) previously, they have been declared as the institutes of national importance in 2007. These colleges offer degree courses in several branches of engineering and technology. The educational standard of NITs is considered very high, and it is a matter of pride to get admitted to these colleges.

As of now, these institutes follow a different pattern of selection than IITs, whereby a 40 percent weight is given to the Class 12th board percentage and 60 percent weight is given to the JEE Mains score. Reports indicate that NITs are also planning to follow the IITs selection process, meaning that the students will be selected based on the combined performance in the JEE Mains and JEE Advanced tests. Thus, the selection process of both institutes will be at par. It is also said that the counseling process will also be common so that a student doesn’t block seat in both institutes. The only difference will be the eligibility criterion. If the NIT Council accepts the recommendation, then the new system might get implemented with immediate effect.

Another recommendation is that NITs should select based solely on JEE Mains score only, and 12th Board scores should not carry any weight. It will help in making the admission process streamlined which gets delayed due to some of the boards not publishing their results in time. Also, the actual intention of including board exams score was to discourage private coaching and to bring more participation of the students from the rural areas. However, both of the objectives could not get fulfilled in the past, therefore experts have raised objections on the relevance of current selection criteria.

Irrespective of which of these recommendations gets implemented, there is going to be a significant impact on the selection process in terms of the number of students appearing in the exam. In JEE (Advanced) 2015, around 1.25 lakh out of the 1.5 lakh eligible students actually wrote the exam. In the changed scenario, that number may rise significantly.  Overall 28000 students will be selected with a proportion of 10000 in IITs and 18000 in NITs.

NITs will most likely join hands with CBSE to conduct JEE Main exam. IITs will conduct JEE advanced exam, like they do currently.

What is the benefit?

FIITJEE believes that the change in the selection criteria will make the selection process simple. Since the selection pattern and counseling process will be identical, there will be less ambiguity and confusion. Only the merit lists will be different based on the eligibility criteria defined.

Undoubtedly, there will be additional load on the JEE Advanced exam as the number of students will increase. However, it can be managed by establishing better coordination between IITs and NITs.

The pressure of scoring good marks in the board examination will reduce since there will be no weight of the same in the overall process. The delay in declaring results (which is a common practice) of some of the state boards won’t have any impact on the selection procedure.

IITs and NITs are the educational institutes of national importance. However, there is a disparity in the selection procedure. The proposed method will make it more harmonious and uniform. Some online reports say that there is a recommendation of lowering the eligibility criterion to 55 percent or 60 percentile (whichever is the lower). However, only time will tell if it will be accepted by the committee.

Will it affect the status of IITs?

Many people think that the proposed structure will affect the premium status of IITs because currently, JEE Advanced is considered for IIT admission only. FIITJEE doesn’t acknowledge such belief as eligibility criteria for NIT will be different even if the entrance exam and counseling is common.  It is important that all probable angles of the issue should be analyzed before implementation. There should be a little fine tuning afterward.

This year, there was an exceptional delay in submission of a few state board results to CBSE. It caused a delay in the overall process because JEE Mains depends on it. Moreover, there were errors in the results which resulted in chaos. Therefore, a majority of policy makers in the government feel that the dependency should be removed entirely.

The proposal is subject to approval from the MHRD (Ministry of Human Resource Development). If the policy is approved, then it will be implemented with effect from 2017 or later. There have been recommendations about changing the examination schedule as well. Authorities feel that there is insufficient gap between the result declaration of Board exams and conducting the admission process for IIT and NIT. Managing all the activities in such a short duration becomes immensely stressful at the operational level.

FIITJEE is keeping its fingers crossed and hope certainty will prevail sooner.

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