The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) continue to resist a proposal to allow the seven Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) to join the JEE (Advanced) counselling process. The matter was considered again at the meeting of the Joint Admission Board (JAB) — responsible for laying down the examination policy for JEE (Advanced) — held in Chennai on August 20. The discussion, sources said, was inconclusive as the IITs remain unconvinced about sharing the counselling platform which has always been the preserve of the 23 premier engineering schools.
During counselling, students are allowed to choose an institution and a course at one place without having to visit every institution individually. Currently, the IITs and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) hold common counselling for admission to BTech courses, but students are admitted to the IITs and NITs based on their JEE (Advanced) and JEE (Main) rank, respectively.
On August 20, the IITs were of the opinion that the counselling process based on JEE (Advanced) ranks “is expected to cater to admission need of IITs only” and, if at all, any other institute is to be allowed to join this platform then “the matter should be passed in the Senates of all IITs”. The Senate is the apex decision-making body in every IIT for maintaining standards of instruction, education and examination in the institute.
“They want the IISERs to participate in the counselling process through JEE (Main). There is a feeling that permitting IISERs to admit students along with the IITs could dilute the JEE (Advanced) brand and, maybe, a few candidates might opt for an IISER over, say, one of the newer IITs,” said a source in the government who did not wish to be identified.
With the HRD Ministry still pushing the IITs to accept the proposal, JAB has decided to set up a committee with representatives from IITs and IISERs to work out a solution, if any. Currently, the IISERs hold their own counselling a week after the common counselling by IITs and NITs. There are about 1,200 seats across seven IISERs in Berhampur, Bhopal, Kolkata, Mohali, Thiruvananthapuram, Pune and Tirupati. Of these, about 10 per cent seats are filled through the Kishore Vaigyanik Protsahan Yojana, roughly 40 per cent students taken are from the JEE-Advanced merit list and the remaining are admitted through the IISER Aptitude Test.
The several rounds of counselling by IITs and NITs affects the the academic schedule of the IISERs, which is why the seven institutes are keen on admitting students along with IITs. The proposal was first made last year, but the IITs did not agree. “IISERs feel they have been able to build a brand as good as the IITs and, hence, want to admit students along with the IITs,” the government source added. IISERs were set up a decade ago and their focus is to mould students to find breakthroughs in science.