ByÂ Nitish Pratik:
Following is an interview of an aspiring IIT-JEE student who is in a state of dilemma as the HRD ministry has called for a combined entrance test and admission via board exam marks for all the engineering colleges from 2013. So here we get to talk with him about the mindset of students and why or why not it was the right initiative taken by the ministry.
What according to you made this idea grow to change the IIT JEE pattern from 2013?
I think the plan of having single examination for all engineering colleges might have arisen from the fact that currently we students have to go through several rigorous examinationsto get into the engineering colleges. So they arefollowing the pattern of Scholastic Assessment Test (SAT) conducted in the United States for admission to undergraduate courses.
Do you think entry primarily by the board marks will be a fair deal for all the JEE aspirants?
No I don’t think so. They are making the situation even more critical. Every board has its own scheme of evaluation and marking. A student who is getting a 70% in any board exam might end up with a 55-60% in another board’s exam. So I don’t think they would succeed in their purpose of having the best minds of India in the IITs.
Then what do you think should be done to soothe the frantic students and what should be the way forward according to you?
I think the current IIT-JEE pattern is good enough to test the knowledge of students. The questions that are asked can only be solved by people who are rock solid at their concepts because questions are asked from moderately difficult to advanced difficulty level. So only someone who has worked hard can survive.
Don’t you think it would make the workload less for students as you only have to focus on one examination rather than many and what would you prefer personally?
It depends on person to person.Some students prefer the current system of appearing in different examinations especially those who try to seek a good rank in state-level engineering examinations. I personally would like a common entrance test for all colleges since it strengthens your chances of getting some good college even if you have a slightly lower rank. Also then it would not make education a business since it would curb the tradition of going to the coaching classes.
One last question, why do you think these initiatives are taken by the ministry and not by the IIT themselves?
Well, it’s difficult to answer. What we want is a fair game. We don’t want people getting through because of their board marks for the reason I mentioned earlier. The IITs also want to maintain their status quo and the exalted status they have attained for themselves, so they can’t take such a crucial decision themselves.