IITB Central Library 2.0 Service

House panel plan for IIT exams

Posted on: October 14, 2010

by Telegraph
New Delhi, Oct. 13: A statutory body set up through an act of Parliament should conduct entrance examinations for the IITs, IIMs and even medical colleges, a committee on IIT-JEE reforms has recommended.

The committee, headed by IIT Kharagpur director Damodar Acharya, has proposed a National Testing Agency (NTA) which it says should be created by getting a law passed in Parliament. The agency, the panel has recommended, should be run by a commission with persons of high academic stature as members.

Admission to the IITs should be conducted through a National Aptitude Test (NAT) which will gauge intelligence, general awareness and comprehension and communications skills. The test agency should initially conduct NAT for the IITs, but later it can hold other entrance exams such as the Common Admission Test (CAT) for IIMs and pre-medical tests for admission to medical colleges, the committee has said.

The NAT for IITs should be held online and thrice a year to help students improve their performance. The best scores of the students in any of the tests will be considered while preparing the merit list. Nearly 25 lakh students appear in entrance examinations for engineering institutions every year.

The proposed testing agency will create and maintain test centres with all facilities for the smooth conduct of the exams. The centres will have nearly 25,000 seats — each with at least 50 — to conduct a test of three hours a day for 20 days in a month. Mock tests will also be held.

The testing agency will have a research unit responsible for generating unique test papers with equal difficulty levels. A technology-support wing will take care of the IT needs of the centres where the tests will be conducted online.

The Acharya committee said the IITs should be associated with the NTA in the initial stages to ensure the credibility of the tests. This suggestion and the others are now being considered by the government.

The NTA proposal assumes significance as HRD minister Kapil Sibal has favoured national-level tests for admission to all engineering, management and graduation courses.

Sibal has also supported a uniform curriculum for science and commerce across all boards. The Council of Boards of School Education (COBSE), a body with all school boards as members, has prepared a common curriculum for science and math. Most state school boards have approved it. The COBSE is now drawing up a common commerce course.

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