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New Sibal plan to make entry into IITs tougher


A compromise formula aimed at breaking the deadlock between teachers and HRD minister Kapil Sibal over admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) could end up hurting hundreds of thousands of aspiring students.


Under the new formula, only the top 20% students in their respective class 12 board exams would be eligible for appearing in the IIT entrance exam, top government and IIT sources told HT.


The compromise was brokered by the Prime Minister, who met members of the protesting All India IIT Faculty Federation (AIIFF) last week and asked Sibal to consider their demands.


Sibal had wanted an admission system where the board exam percentile was given weightage along with scores in a screening test while selecting candidates for a second, advanced entrance exam. This process allowed students who scored relatively lower in the boards to make up for it by doing better in the screening test.


But faced with persistent opposition from IIT faculty federations on weightage to board scores, Sibal has asked IIT-Delhi director RK Shevgaonkar to seek the opinion of faculty across the IITs on the compromise plan.


The new proposal, to be discussed by the IIT senates and faculty associations this week, places students in the top 20 percentile of board scores on an equal footing in the selection process.


This would negate Sibal’s intention of encouraging students to focus on their board exams, but rob 80% students of even a chance of trying for the IITs.


Since the class 12 results are unlikely to be declared in time for the two-tier IIT test, all students would need to appear for the exams even if their board marks turn them ineligible later.


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