IITs, HRD end row with compromise

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 27, 2012 16:40 hrs

A special meeting convened by the Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD) with the Indian Institute of Technologies (IIT) Council to find a solution to the Combined Entrance Test (CET) row ended with a compromise formula on the entrance exams on Wednesday.

At the meeting the directors of all the 15 IITs agreed to implement the new admission format from 2013.

The Council agreed that from 2013 there would be two exams with students with top 20% from various boards taking the main or multiple-choice exam and qualifying to enter the IITs while 50,000 students then would be taking the advanced exam.

The two exams would be held on separate days.

HRD Minister Kapil Sibal skipped the meeting on Wednesday.

Sibal was challenged by the IITs on the issue of exams and threat to their autonomy and the ministry later called the meeting and issued a statement.

"The uncertainty faced by the student community, consequent to the resolutions of the senates of IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi, requires to be addressed. Consequently, a special meeting of the IIT Council is being convened on 27.6.2012," read the ministry statement on Friday.

Earlier Union Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal said the government has no intentions to 'impact' on the autonomy of the IITs.

Sibal faced tremendous criticisms and oppositions from the IIT Kanpur and others after he announced the decision to conduct combined entrance test for IITs with other premier engineering institutes.

IIT Kanpur had said it will conduct its own entrance test from 2013, rejecting a proposal by Sibal to unify such tests across India.

IIT Faculty Federation, with the support of the powerful Alumni Association, wrote a letter to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh strongly opposing the move.

The IIT Alumni Association also reportedly said it was contemplating to take the minister to court for allegedly violating the principles of the Institutes of Technology Act, 1961.

IIT Faculty Federation secretary A.K. Mittal, in the letter to the PM had said, "We feel cheated. Despite promising us that no steps will be taken if there is any dissent, the HRD minister has gone ahead with his plans."

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