In its new avatar, the Joint Engineering Examination (JEE), has seen 1.4 million candidates registering for the 2013 examination, a record 25 per cent jump on last year’s 1.1 million.
Come April 2013, JEE, taken for admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), would be held in two parts — Main and Advanced. Students applying to the IITs would have to take JEE-Main. The new test is an amalgamation of the All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) and IIT-JEE. The Main exam would be equivalent to AIEEE, and the Advanced to IIT-JEE.
Industry experts say the rise in numbers is the result of many states doing away with their state-level engineering exams. Besides, the Ministry of Human Resource Development has allowed a second attempt at board exams in 2013 to the students who have already appeared in 2012.
This is to ensure they are able to make it to the 20 percentile eligible to write the Advanced IIT-JEE 2013 test. Of the total number of students who take JEE Main, only the top 150,000 would be eligible to sit the JEE-Advanced test, which would be held a few weeks after the Main exam.
For admission to IITs, based on the JEE-Advanced, a student should be among the top 20 per cent scorers in his/her respective Class XII board. Until 2012, a student scoring 60 per cent in his/her Class XII board was eligible for a seat in the IITs. There are 32 boards in India with different patterns of examination and evaluation.
While JEE-Main will be administered by the Central Board of Secondary Education, JEE-Advanced will be given by IITs. Admission to National Institutes of Technology and Indian Institutes of Information Technology would be based on JEE-Main scores. Also, deemed universities, after fixing a minimum percentage criteria, could use JEE-Main scores to admit students.
The change in the examination pattern also means more moolah for the IIT-JEE coaching institutes.
Kota-based Career Point, for instance, has increased its fee from Rs 70,000 to 80,000 a year for the next academic year.
“Enrolments at institutes have gone up. We have increased fees by 10-14 per cent,” said Career Point Founder Director & CEO Pramod Maheshwari. The listed coaching institute expects 20,000-25,000 students to enrol next year, compared to 15,000 this year. Its stock closed at Rs 172.80 on the Bombay Stock Exchange on Friday.
Triumphant Institute of Management Education (TIME) Director Manek Daruwala also expects a 25 per cent rise in revenues next year. He, however, adds the increase in fees would linked to inflation.
Institutes are also spending on beefing up infrastructure and recruiting additional staff to cater to increased enrolments.
Chandan Dikshit, planning & strategy head at Rao IIT Academy, says the enrolments at his institute have increased 40 per cent this year. Though the fee structure has not been changed, the institute expects revenues to go up 20-25 per cent next year.
A committee, under professor Idi Chandy of IIT-Madras, established a correlation between performances at schools and IITs, inferring students did better in schools. So, to promote school education and to dilute the coaching culture, the human resource development ministry had been considering changing the IIT-JEE format.