The ministry of human resource development's (MHRD) idea to tweak the joint entrance examination (JEE) to discourage the coaching culture doesn't seem to have worked. In fact, it has resulted in more students knocking on the doors of engineering test preparation institutes. For IIT-JEE coaching institutes, academic year 2012-13 has been good.
Three test preparing institutes - Kota-based Career Point Infosystems, FIITJEE and Rao IIT Academy - told Business Standard admission at the institutes has seen a 15 per cent jump, which may go up to 30 per cent over the next few months.
"With the changes brought about in the exam, MHRD has in effect given a fillip to the coaching culture. Students and parents think it may be difficult to get into the IITs without any formal coaching," says Pramod Maheshwari, CEO, Career Point Infosystems, Kota. He says his institute has introduced coaching programmes for 12th standard students, in addition to providing coaching for IIT-JEE. The institute has also increased the programme fee by 10 per cent. Till last year, the BSE-listed institute was charging Rs 80,000 for its IIT-JEE coaching package and Rs 40,000 for AIEEE coaching.
According to FIIT-JEE, which has around 50 centres across the country, there has a 5-15 per cent increase in enrolments in the coaching sector. Mumbai's Rao IIT Academy has seen admissions go up from 1,200 students in 2012 to 2,000 in 2013.
R L Trikha, director of FIITJEE Ltd, says the increase in fee is at an average of three per cent, compared to last year.
Concurring that students do not attend schools due to the 'coaching-class culture' and the pressure of such training programmes, MHRD had introduced changes in the IIT JEE examination last year.
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 changed the IIT-JEE format.
Last June, 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 the advanced exam will be equivalent to IIT-JEE.
To get a seat in IIT, one has to be in the top-20 percentile of the respective board, regardless of one's JEE score.