The idea of the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) to tweak the joint entrance examination (JEE) to discourage the coaching culture has done exactly the opposite so far.
Coaching institutes Business Standard spoke to said, with the MHRD insisting on inclusion of board marks as an eligibility criterion for admission to the IITs, admission to their programmes has gone up, and, in some cases, more than doubled.
“After Board examinations have been made a part of the admission procedure at IITs, enrolments for this year have more than doubled. There are about 1,200 students enrolled (for the 2014 exams), compared to 575 students last year. Further, the level of examination will get difficult now as CBSE will set the JEE Main paper. Students and parents have understood that it will be difficult to get into the premier institutes without formal coaching," said Chandan Dikshit, planning and strategy head at Rao IIT Academy, an IIT-JEE coaching institute. JEE is the qualifying examination for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).
|THE NEW TEST FORMULA|
FIITJEE, another IIT-JEE coaching institute, says the number of applications this year will grow. "It is too early to give out the exact figures, as the admissions will go on till October. Since we had many students among the top rankers this year, there is a definite growth in students coming to us," said R L Trikha, Director, FIITJEE.
It all began when the MHRD concurred that due to the culture of coaching classes, schooling system has been thrown out of the window. So much so that students do not attend schools because of the pressure of such training programmes.
A committee, formed under Professor Idi Chandy of IIT-Madras, established a correlation between school performance and IIT performance, inferring that students were doing better in school. Thus, in a bid to promote school education and to dissuade the coaching culture, MHRD had been considering changing the IIT-JEE format.
Last week, it was decided that from 2013, JEE would be held in two parts — Main and Advanced. Students applying to the IITs would have to appear for JEE-Main. Only the top 1,50,000 who qualify from these would be eligible for taking the JEE-Advanced, which would be held a few weeks after the Main exam.
The new test is an amalgamation of the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and the IIT-JEE, where the Main exam will be equivalent to AIEEE, and Advanced will be equivalent to the IIT-JEE
For final admission to the IIT, based on the JEE-Advanced, a student should be ranked among the top 20 percentile of his respective Class XII Board. At present, any student scoring 60 per cent in their Class XII Board examination is eligible for a seat in the IITs. There are 32 Boards in India having different patterns of examination and evaluation.
While JEE-Main will be held by the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE), JEE-Advanced will be held by the IITs. Admission to the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs) will be based on JEE-Main scores.
Several deemed universities can also use scores of the JEE-Main exam to admit students after they fix a minimum percentage criteria.
Praveen Tyagi, MD, IITians Pace, said, "This year, we have 13,000 students appearing for our entrance examinations in our integrated course, compared to 6,000 candidates last year. While last year we took 1,500 students, we will take 2,500 students this year." Tyagi explained this year there would be more students of AIEEE taking the JEE-Advanced, since there is a 30 per cent weightage given to the Advanced exam for admission to the non-IIT institutes.
At Kota-based Career Point Infosystems, around 25 per cent of students who had enrolled for an IIT-JEE coaching package have shifted to AIEEE (All India Engineering Entrance Examination) coaching, said the institute. “Students who know they will not qualify to be at the top 20 percentile have decided to opt out of IIT-JEE coaching and joined the AIEEE coaching instead. We have already seen a 25 per cent conversion,” said Pramod Maheshwari, CEO, Career Point Infosystems, Kota.
Career Point Infosystems, the only listed coaching institute, charges Rs 80,000 for its IIT-JEE coaching package and Rs 40,000 for its AIEEE coaching package.