New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are split over the joint engineering exam for all centralised institutions. While IIT Madras and Guwahati back the government's proposal on the new format, IIT Kanpur and Kharagpur oppose it. The All India IIT Faculty Federation is likely to meet the Prime Minister on Tuesday.
Differences have also emerged within the IITs. The Director of IIT Kharagpur, Damodar Acharya, is the first to go against the wave of opposition endorsing Sibal's idea. The Director of IIT Guwahati, Gautam Barua, also supported the idea.
Meanwhile, IIT Kanpur, the first to publicly boycott the exam, remains firm on holding its own independent entrance exam in 2013.
IIT Kanpur rejects Sibal's proposal:
A separate admission committee has been formed by IIT Kanpur to conduct separate entrance exam from 2013 as 490 senate members out of 500 dismiseds Sibal's recommendations.
The senate members were not convinced with the HRD minister's plan to include 12th board results as they felt performances across different state boards varied greatly.
IIT Kharagpur divided:
The Director of IIT Kharagpur, Damodar Acharya, is the first to go against the wave of opposition, endorsing Sibal's idea. This has upset the institute's senate, which is to come out with its action plan on Monday, against the common entrance test. In a statement, All India IIT Faculty Federation said that it was "shocked to learn that the Director, IIT Kharagpur has made public statements which are in contradiction to the resolutions made by the Senate of IIT Kharagpur."
The Federation said that resolutions of the IIT Kharagpur Senate did not recommend inclusion of Class XII board marks, and conduct of JEE by a third party. "IIT Kharagpur Senate categorically said that till 2014, no change should be made and status quo be maintained," it said.
Separately, faculty of the IIT-Kharagpur also issued a statement rejecting the Centre's proposal for a Common Entrance Test into IITs, NITs and IIITs.
"The trust that IIT-JEE has earned over the last five decades is due to the continuous evolution of processes and unflinching devotion of the faculty and staff of IITs.... Any test leading to ranking in IIT admissions must be wholly owned by IITs," it said.
IIT Madras, Guwahati support Sibal's recommendations:
The director of IIT Guwahati had endorsed the new entrance exam idea. Criticising the decision taken by IIT-Kanpur Senate, Director of IIT Guwahati Gautam Barua had said he was "surprised" at their "reaction."
"I am sad actually that they have to take this extreme step for such a small matter," he said.
"Right now, we are not talking about one common entrance exam. We are basically talking about.... for having a common exam for NITs, IITs and IIITs. Whether this lead to a common exam for everybody, only time will tell," Barua said.
The Director has sent letter to all the faculty members, appraising them of situation in other IITs and was waiting for a response.
The senate members of IIT Madras are mostly in favour of Sibal's recommendations. However, they want minor changes. The members want lesser weightage to be given to the 12th board exam marks.
They also don't want the inclusion of multiple choice questions in the paper.
IIT Delhi remains non-committal:
The senate members of IIT Delhi feel that 2013 is not a feasible timeline and that the new entrance exam format should be implemented from 2014, with certain changes.
They also feel that the advanced exam should not be controlled by the CBSE, as suggested by Sibal, and should be set as well as corrected by the IITs.
Reports say the IIT Delhi Senate is also willing to conduct a separate entrance exam in partnership with IIT Kanpur from 2013.
IIT Roorkee, Bombay yet undecided:
The faculty of IIT Roorkee is opposed to Sibal's common entrance test and said it will wait for the outcome of the meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and then decide on calling a special Senate meeting to decide the next course of action.
IIT Roorkee has not yet decided if they want to conduct an independent entrance like IIT Kanpur.
IIT Mumbai has said it does not want to go for a joint entrance in 2013 and will wait for the Senate to take a final call by June end.
The faculty is unhappy with the way the decision has been rolled out, disregarding Senate's concerns.
What Sibal proposed:
HRD Minister Kapil Sibal had on May 28 announced that from 2013, aspiring candidates for IITs and other central institutes like NITs and IIITs will have to sit under a new format of common entrance test, which will also take the plus two board results into consideration.
Sibal had claimed that it was approved without dissent at a council consisting of the IITs, the IIITs and the NITs.
(With additional information from PTI)