80% of IIT students,faculty against JEE format change,finds online poll

Even as senates of some of the IITs,including IIT Bombay,have opposed the reforms in the Joint Entrance Examination,results of a global online poll among students,alumni and faculty of IIT Bombay revealed that 78 per cent have voted against the move to change the JEE format.

Written by Express News Service | Published: April 13, 2012 3:23:23 am

Even as senates of some of the IITs,including IIT Bombay,have opposed the reforms in the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE),results of a global online poll among students,alumni and faculty of IIT Bombay revealed that 78 per cent have voted against the move to change the JEE format.

The first-of-its kind online poll,which saw participation of 1,824 respondents,was conducted by the IIT Bombay Alumni Association (IITBAA) and the findings have been published in Fundamatics,the recently launched alumni magazine. “We asked 10 questions on key issues that will impact the future of IITs. What stood out is that the opinion and the views were overwhelmingly in one direction and in favour of the winning answering in case of eight questions,and it was evenly divided for the remaining two. The support ranges from 65 per cent (do not support reservations) to 83 per cent (hire foreign faculty). The maximum divergence of views was within the faculty,while the views of students and alumni were very similar. For instance,on the JEE question,77 per cent of the older alumni as against 61 per cent of the young ones said JEE should not be tampered with,” said Bakul Desai,director of IITBAA and in charge of the online poll.

The survey results show that while 78 per cent said “they do not agree with the recent proposal to change the JEE format into a preliminary aptitude test with equal weightage to the entrance test and board exam results”,78 per cent said no to setting up of so many IITs,stating it will dilute “brand IIT”. To the question,“do you think reservation of seats for SC/ST/OBC has been a welcome move?”,65 per cent said reservations should be done away with and merit should be the only criteria.

Further,while 83 per cent have voted in favour of hiring foreign faculty,80 per cent said rapid increase in student intake and resultant stress on institute infrastructure has affected student and faculty morale and ultimately the institute output. Another 77 per cent voted in favour of giving more financial autonomy to the IITs. Again,while 77 per cent want IITs to be made more research-oriented,80 per cent said brand IIT is a boon.

“The faculty believes in greater financial autonomy less vehemently than students or alumni. More surprisingly,faculty supports research emphasis to the extent of 61 per cent as against 73 per cent and 80 per cent vote of alumni and students respectively,” he said.

Opinion was evenly divided on two questions. Results show that 36 per cent felt IITs should not hike fees as recommended by the Kakodkar panel as against 38 per cent who said fees should be hiked gradually at about 20 per cent per year. Similarly,40 per cent said IITs should allow private investment and management in its affairs,while 43 per cent disagreed.

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