Levelling the field

The new rules allow only a shot at counselling rather than a guaranteed seat

The governing council of the IITs has made a few adjustments to ease the strict dual norms just introduced for the JEE (Main) and JEE (Advanced) examinations this year.

The qualifying norms were tweaked to reward the more rounded students, who should be expected to do well in the entrance test to elite institutions as well as in the school curriculum and the board exams.

The IITs are merely swinging back a bit towards correcting the anomalies thrown up by the new system.

The most recent proposal for entry to counselling, that stipulates a minimum of 75 per cent in board exam marks (70 per cent for SC/ST) rather than an insistence on students finishing in the top 20 percentile ranking of their respective boards, is not a genuine academic reform.

However, it does level the playing field somewhat because students from the matriculation stream nursed a genuine grievance — that their cut-off marks were very high.

The new rules allow fringe candidates only a shot at counselling rather than a guaranteed seat in the IITs.

The principle of establishing a more inclusive system that allows the creme de la creme of young and bright talent to get the best possible technical education is to be welcomed.

However, the IITs have some way to go, as is evident by their not figuring in the top 200 of the world’s best universities.

The only sore point is, instead of accepting that there is a lot of scope for improvement, the council has thought if fit to moot a domestic ranking system.

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