Almost five years after former HRD minister Arjun Singh had dropped the “stressful” IIT-JEE screening examination, the exam is expected to return in the form of an “Aptitude Test”.
A committee of IIT directors, formed by HRD minister Kapil Sibal, is working out a possibility of re-introducing the screening examination to shortlist students who have an “aptitude for engineering” thus making IIT-JEE a two-tier system. The committee will meet in Kanpur on July 3 to finalise its report.
It is learnt that the committee is planning to give more weightage to marks obtained in the class XII board exams. As per their proposal, about 70% weightage would be given to the class XII board marks, while 30% weightage would be given to marks scored in the national aptitude test (NAT).
Based on the NAT result, 40,000 students would be shortlisted and allowed to take the IIT-JEE test. The IIT-JEE test results will then decide which students will get admission in premier engineering institutions in the country.
There are roughly around 10,000 seats in IITs and engineer-related institutions, while 1,150 seats are expected to be added in the coming years. About 4.72 lakh students appeared for the IIT-JEE exam in 2010.
HRD ministry sources said that the move is aimed at reducing the number of students appearing for the IIT-JEE exam. “Every year about 4.5 lakh students appear for IIT-JEE, but only 2% make it. What’s the point in testing all of them?” a ministry official said.
The committee is also exploring the possibility of making NAT a single exam for admission to all other engineering institutions. “While the ones that top NAT can go to IITs, the rest can go to other engineering colleges based on rankings,” the official said.