IITs are planning to tweak the admission criteria for the academic session 2020-2021 as the coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption in the evaluation of Class 12 students. They are considering removing Class 12 performance as a deciding factor in admission for the next academic year.
This decision by the IIT is yet to be approved by the directors of IITs and government officials, according to The Indian Express.
Under normal circumstance, aspirants for IITs are assessed based on their score in Class 10, Class 12 and performance in Joint Entrance Examinations (JEE). For a general category student to be eligible for admission in IITs they should score 75 per cent or above in Class 12 or should be in the top 20 percentile. While the reserved category students, including scheduled castes and scheduled tribes, are required to score at least 65 per cent marks in Class 12.
"There are very few rank holders who are denied admission every year for either not scoring a minimum of 75 per cent or meeting the top 20 percentile cut-off. So, doing away (with this criterion) for one admission cycle isn't going to make a big difference," said a Joint Implementation Committee (JIC) member, according to the daily. The JIC is made up of chairpersons from all 23 IITs.
The coronavirus pandemic has caused major disruption to this year's academic sessions. CBSE and ISCE both have had to cancel board examinations. According to the Supreme Court order, CBSE and ICSE students will be assessed based on the average marks scored in appeared subjects. Many state boards are also adopting this method while others will give results based on internal evaluation.
As the assessment of Class 12 students has been done using different methods, the IITs are now considering removing Class 12 performance from the admission criteria altogether. "There was a consensus that the IITs, instead, should insist on rank holders to have passed their board exams this year," the JIC member said. However, the JIC member has also said that this would only be a one-time exception and not the new rule.
However, the most important factor for admission to IITs is the performance in the Joint Entrance Exam (JEE). This entrance exam is divided into two phases JEE MAINS and JEE Advanced. Only those who score above a particular percentage in JEE MAINS get to sit in JEE Advanced.
JEE MAINS is taken by lakhs of students every year out of which only a few thousand get selected for admission into IITs. JEE MAINS is held twice in a year, once in January and next in April. But because of the coronavirus crisis, the exam scheduled in April has been postponed to the first week of September.