Govt fears IITs batting for coaching centres

With the war between the human resource development minister Kapil Sibal and the the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) intensifying deeply, the ministry has called a special meeting next week to discuss the controversial issue of the  new Common Entrance Test (CET) proposed by the government.

On Thursday, IIT, Kanpur, was joined by IIT, Delhi, in taking on Sibal against the CET. They have decided to hold their own separate examination for undergraduate engineering courses from next year.

Reacting to this development,the ministry issued a statement on Friday that called a special meeting of the IIT Council on 27 June to discuss the impasse. In a press release, Sibal said, '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.'

An IIT, Delhi, Senate official said the institute will conduct the exam in association with IIT, Kanpur, which too is against the new format.

However, IIT, Madras, is keen to go with Sibal's proposal. Its director Professor Bhaskar Ramamurthi told Millennium Post: 'Various senates gave their view, and we have supported the proposal of the HRD ministry, as its close to our viewpoint.'

The sources in the ministry have said that the reason behind these two IITs vehemently opposing the CET is that the new proposal will hit at the Rs 10 to 15 crore coaching industry, in which faculty of the IITs have a direct say. The sources said that the IIT faculty fear that if Class XII marks are counted for admission to IITs, the importance of coaching centres will be lessened.

However, Ramamurthi said, 'Coaching centres are not our concern at all. We just want a good exam and good students to come out from it.'

While sources in the Congress say that they believe the government is competent enough to handle the situation and will ultimately resolve this issue.

In an attempt to resolve the issue, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had earlier met members of the All India IIT Faculty Federation and assured them that the autonomy of the IITs would be protected.


A day after Indian Institute of Technology [IIT] Delhi rejected the entrance exam format announced by human resource development minister Kapil Sibal on 28 May, it announced a special meeting of the IIT Council on 27 June with the ministry to address the concerns of students, sources in the IIT. Apparently, they want the ball to be in the ministry’s court and that they would react according to the situation.

‘We are very clear about our stance and as far as preparations for Wednesday’s meeting is concerned we can only comment on that once we would know what the ministry wants to say,’ said the source.

When contacted IIT-D, Deputy Director Ishtiaque said, ‘I’m not aware of anything.’ But he added IIT-D is not happy with the 2013 changes. He also added that the faculty federation insists that implementing the new system would put a lot of pressure on students already in the midst of preparing for the IIT-JEE next year.’

He also added that new format would increase the stress of students as students aspiring to join institutes other than the IITs need not sit for two test as proposed. ‘The IITs advance test should be subjective type, just for the candidates aspiring to join the IITs. This advance test would be held on a day different from the main test and would be administered to only shortlisted candidates from the main test [50,000 to 70,000] by the IITs, but HRD wants to include all the short listed students in that advance test and wants objective type test, which is unpractical,’ said Ishtiaque. 'This is impossible because how one can check five to six lakh copies.'
Next Story
Share it