To check the mushrooming JEE coaching industry and ensure only the best get into engineering colleges,a committee formed by the HRD Ministry to review IIT-JEE has suggested that candidates be admitted on the basis of scores in a GRE/SAT-pattern National Aptitude Test (NAT) and Class XII marks.
In its report,which was accessed by The Indian Express,the committee headed by IIT Kharagpur Director Prof Damodar Acharya has suggested that more weightage be given to Class XII marks which along with scores in NAT will be the criterion for admission to engineering colleges. IITs and IISERs,however,will use the Class XII and NAT scores the total of the two known as Composite Weighted Performance (CWP) only as a screening criterion to reduce the number of applicants who can then take an add-on in pure sciences
Nearly 5 lakh candidates compete for the 10,000 IITs seats and NAT will help bring down this number substantially,the report said. NAT is envisaged as an online test that will not require extensive preparation or coaching. The questions asked in the test will be of 10+2 level. It will test candidates raw intelligence,aptitude,general awareness,comprehension and written communication skills. A candidate can take the test thrice in a year and the highest of the three scores will be considered for his admission.
The committee has also recommended that students be relieved of the pressure of multiple JEEs held by various state governments. On an average,a student appears in 5 JEEs within a few days of the Class XII examinations.
The new admission system is needed,the report says,as IIT-JEE has become a huge money spinning activity for coaching centres. The influence of coaching for JEE needs to be minimized and urban-rural and gender bias has to be eliminated, it says.
Besides,a shift to a conventional pen and paper examination with well designed long and problem solving oriented questions should be revived as the objective type of examination lends itself to undue influence of coaching and also led to students ignoring their Class XII studies and dropping attendance.
The committee has also suggested reforms in Class XII examination.