From 2013, aspiring candidates for IITs and other central institutes like NITs and IIITs will have to sit under new a format of entrance test which will also take plus two board results into consideration.
The announcement was made on Monday by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal after chairing a meeting of the joint councils of IITs, NITs and IIITs.
Emphasising that there was no "dissent" among the councils about the move, he acknowledged there "was a lot of resistance during the consultation process from the IIT system". IIT senates especially the faculty federation had been opposing the new format.
But Sibal said the selection of the candidates for the IITs and other central institutes would be different even as all the aspirants will have to go through all the steps under new format. This system will replace the IIT-JEE and AIEEE.
Students will sit for a main test and an advance test conducted on the same day.
For admission to all the centrally funded institutes, there would be 40 percentage weightage for performance in Class XII (after normalisation of marks), 30 per cent weightage to performance in main and 30 per cent in the advanced test.
In case of IITs, there would be a filtering process involved. The board results and the main test will be given 50 per cent weightage each. Only the top 50,000 students will be selected for the advance test after taking into account their performance in the board results and the main result.
"The merit only in advanced examination will be considered for admission" to the IITs, Sibal said.
At the same time, he added, the IIT council has agreed to move to the other system by 2015.
Explaining the selection of candidates under the new format for the IITs, one of the IIT directors said results of advance test of only those students who have crossed the "barrier" of the 50 per cent weightage to board marks and mains will be counted while preparing the merit list.
Even as the process of selection to the IITs would be different then other institutes, he said the counselling to IITs and other institutes will be done jointly and allotment of seats will be done together.
"I as a student will get a rank in IIT and also get a rank for NIT and IIIT. I will give my choice in both and depending on which is my first choice in either, I will get a seat," he explained.
While the main test shall be multiple type paper, he nature and modalities of the advanced shall be determined by the Joint Admission Board (JAB) of the IITs.
Sibal made it clear that JAB of the IIT system would have complete control on matters such as paper setting, evaluation and preparation of merit list over the advanced test while CBSE will provide administrative support for conduct of the examination.
For conduct of the main examination, an expanded joint admission board will be constituted including the NIT, other centrally funded institutes and state government representatives.
Noting that state boards would have the flexibility to adopt the new format the determine their own relative weightages, the minister said Maharashtra, Gujarat and Haryana have evinced interest adopting the new format.
Sibal felt the format will not only help in reviving and revitalising the school system but also reduce the element of discretion in different institutes and address the issue of the coaching menace.
"We believe a lot of students, who do exceptionally well in the state boards, will have a chance to get admitted to the IITs. The ultimate representation will be far more inclusive than in the past," he said.
Talking about the upcoming meeting of the state education ministers' on June 5, he said the participation of states in the common national test process would be deliberated upon.
When asked as to why the selection process for IITs was different, IIT Kanpur director S Dhande contended that "since the kind of education we give is not AICTE prescribed and is different, it requires a different kind of mindset and hence the attributes of selection criteria is different".
Intervening at this, Sibal said "Let me be honest... there is lot of resistance from the IIT system. We have accepted. They (the IITs) have a point of view probably I don't understand much, but they have decided to move to the other system by 2015."
He said there were oppositions from the directors on the new format, who had their own views. But the Ministry agreed to their core demands of IITs such as merit list based on the advance test only and keeping the academic control with IITs only.
He said the other demand of holding the test under the new format from 2014 was, however, turned down.
The process of establishing a coordination between COBSE and JAB-IIT for implementation of core curriculum in science and maths across CBSE/ICSE and state boards shall be put in place immediately.