The state education ministers unanimously agreed for a common entrance test for centrally-funded technical institutes, including IITs.
During the state education ministers' conference in Delhi on Tuesday, states broadly agreed to the one test plan for centrally-funded technical institutes like IITs, NITs and IIITs.
The IITs have been allowed to hold a second advance test after filtering students who appear for the common entrance. It was strongly criticised by Bihar education minister Prashant Kumar Shahi. He said, “Why should IITs take a different course.”
But HRD minister Kapil Sibal said IITs will come on board by 2015.
The Maharashtra representative said that a consultation with various stakeholders was organised by the state government and it was in support of the common test.
Ramanlal Vora, the education minister from Gujarat, who asked that test should also be available in Gujarati language, also agreed to the format.
The minister also said that states would have the freedom to join in the common examination system and have the autonomy to determine their own relative weightages for Class XII Board marks, performance in JEE-main and JEE-advanced.
Also, the Academic Body to be constituted for the JEE-MAIN test would have representation from states.
The state education ministers were also told that if a state intends to join the common test for admission to engineering institutions, the exam papers would be made available in the regional language of the state in addition to English and Hindi.
After detailed deliberations, the proposal for a common examination process for admission to engineering programmes was supported unanimously.
The states said that IITs should also adopt the same format as other central educational institutions.
But the IIT alumni is not happy with the decision. Somnath Bharti, president of the IIT Delhi Alumni Association and supreme court lawyer, said, “We sent our analysis to the government’s proposed plan and met the minister and he assured us that government would not go ahead with the proposed common entrance examination if there was even one case of dissent.” Bharti is now considering a public interest litigation to challenge the new common entrance exam decision on the ground that the institutes’ autonomy has been compromised.