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IIT council rules that doing away with JEE Advanced, as proposed by HRD ministry, will make exam lose credibility.  

New Delhi: The Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will continue to offer B.Tech programmes and there will be no change in the way the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is conducted, the IIT council decided Monday.

The IITs unanimously rejected the radical proposal, backed by the Human Resource Development (HRD) ministry, to reform the JEE and do away with the JEE Advanced, which is the gateway to secure admissions to the IITs.

Members of the IIT Council held that the system should be allowed to function in the way that it is operating currently and that any change would make the coveted exam lose its credibility.

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As first reported by ThePrint on 8 August, the HRD ministry had backed a proposal for scrapping B.Tech courses at IITs and making the premier institutions mentor other engineering colleges.

The proposal also called for scrapping JEE Advanced to reduce the dependence of coaching centres and to change allocation system of selected students from branch of engineering to institution-wise allocation. Both proposals have been rejected by the council.

“It is not feasible to scrap JEE Advanced at this stage. The proposal was taken up in the council but unanimously rejected by all members. Rather than taking such radical decisions, we want to focus on improving the pattern of questions,” said a council member who was present in the meeting.

Proposal supported by faculty, alumni

The radical proposal of revamping IIT education by dismantling the JEE Advanced exam was based on the idea of doing away with the flagship B.Tech courses at the IITs. As per the proposal, which came from alumni and IIT faculty, supported by the government, the idea was to convert IITs into high-end institutes that offer postgraduate education and only certain semesters of teaching a select group of students — about 10 from each of the mentored institutes.

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The proposal had received mixed reactions from the community.

“While it is good that the IITs move towards a more research-based approach giving weightage to masters and PhD in the institutes, this cannot be done till the time we do not have second-rung institutes that can teach at the undergraduate level as well as the IITs. We have to first create institutes that are as good as IITs and then gradually reduce the intake of students at the undergraduate level,” an IIT Director had said.

IITs are traditionally known for their undergraduate programmes and their placements. Undergraduate programmes are also one of the ways in which IITs generate revenue through fees. Fee for a B.Tech course in an IIT is over a lakh per semester.

Also read: Will IITs become post-graduate-only? IIT Council to discuss on 21 August

The IITs said that the JEE could be reformed by making further improvements in questions rather than taking radical decisions like scrapping JEE Advanced.

The IIT Council is headed by the HRD minister Prakash Javadekar. The ministry finally decided to go with the IIT view as it felt that the need for reform must be driven by the institutions.

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