The IITs (Indian Institute of Technology) all over the country have been considering dropping the criterion of the class 12 performance this year. This decision is being contemplated by them in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak in the whole country. The virus has successfully disrupted all the exams.
To secure a seat at an IIT, a general category student must usually have either scored at least 75% or should come in the top 20 percentile of her board results. The candidates of SC/ST should have either scored 65% or they have to fulfill the top 20 percentile requirement.
The key school boards of the country like CBSE and ICSE canceled their remaining class 10 and 12 exams last month. There were growing concerns about the safety of students and there were many states which continued to report a spike in the number of coronavirus cases.
Subsequently, the boards had to announce alternative evaluation methods for the exams which were remaining. For example, the special marking scheme introduced by CBSE involves the awarding of marks based on the best-performing subjects.
In a meeting of the Joint Implementation Committee (JIE), the disruption of the class 12 board exams was discussed. The JIC comprises of all the JEE chairperson of all the IITs in India.
It was proposed by the JEE chairpersons that the class 12 criterion should be waived off for 2020 during the meeting. This was because different boards have responded differently to the coronavirus crisis.
A JIC member said that there was a consensus that instead of holding the class 12 criterion, the IITs should stress on the rank holders to have passed their board exams. This will only be a one-time exception.
In an average year, the class 12 performance criterion is not a make-or-break criterion for admissions. The member said that there are very few rank holders who are denied admission for either not scoring a minimum of 75% or not meeting the top 20 percentile cut-off. Therefore, if the IIT does away with this criterion for one year, it will not bring about a huge difference.
Once the proposal has met the approval of the Joint Admission Board’s (JAB) approval, then only will the JIC proposal be implemented. A meeting of JAB has not been called yet. The JAB has directors off all the IITs as well as representatives of the HRD Ministry.
The IITs are also looking at the feasibility of conducting JEE (Advanced) for the students of Dhaka, Dubai, Kathmandu, and Singapore apart from the class 12 criterion. Different COVID related instructions are in place at different locations, therefore, the IITs are apprehensive of arranging the exam at foreign locations.
The exams of JEE (Advanced) will be held on September 27. The schedule of the examination has been rescheduled a second time because of the outbreak of the pandemic.