August 5, 2015,
Every year almost 13 lakh students write the engineering entrance exam JEE Mains and authorities are consistently making efforts to make the system smooth and transparent. The efforts made by the government and authorities are welcome and are appreciable but on the other hand my heart goes out to the parents and students who get impacted in process. Many of these changes have created a lot of pain for these lakhs of students and parents who are often caught off guard and have to struggle to adjust to the changes. Since the admissions are very competitive the students start their preparation atleast 2 years in advance and thus have to suffer whenever systemic changes are introduced and implemented within a short span of time. (9 months or so is a short duration for people who are preparing from last 1 and half year).
The engineering entrance system was changed a lot in 2012 when the two tier system of JEE Mains and JEE Advanced was introduced and class 12th marks were included in the admission system. A normalization formula was evolved. The students were required to score well in the entrance test and also were required to be in the top 20 percentile in their respective board exams. It was a sound decision as it encouraged the students to focus on their school studies along with preparations and discouraged the spread of prep schools that were following the rote method. When the changes were introduced the students who were preparing for engineering entrance with little focus on board marks were caught off guard and obviously it had an impact on admissions.
In 2014 again the system was changed and a joint seat allocation board was made to allocate seats in IIT’s, NIT’s and CFTI’s for admissions in 2015. The class 12th marks weightage continued but now the students were required to score in entrance test and 40% weightage was given to class 12th marks for calculation of all India ranks. Two separate rank lists were made for admissions. One for IIT’s and another one for NIT’s and IIIT’s. The admissions season suffered some glitches, there was no option to cancel the seat and admissions were delayed as the boards did not send the data of the students in time to CBSE for seat allocation. The academic sessions in engineering colleges are delayed by atleast a week and it will impact the students.
The admissions are over for 2015 and Maharashtra state is back to its CET for 2016. The news papers are publishing reports regarding a proposal to scrap the class 12th marks weightage in engineering admissions except IIT’s from 2016 or from 2017. If indeed the proposal is accepted it will have far reaching impact. By excluding class 12th marks the authorities are going back on their decision and this will encourage the prep school culture. It will have financial impact on parents and this will also impact those students who scored well in this year’s board exams and in the hope of getting admissions have dropped a year ( JEE Mains allows 3 attempt and JEE advanced allows 2 attempts ). In this whole scenario the students are not at fault. If board marks delay the process and If the various education boards of the country can’t send the scores on time then they should be made to do so in future rather than going back on a good decision. I urge the students and the parent’s community to send their views to authorities so that a fair system is in place for engineering admissions in the interest