Common engineering entrance in favour of students, says Sibal

June 12th, 2012 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Washington, June 12 (IANS) With several Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) coming out in opposition on the proposed common entrance test, Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday reiterated that the common test was in favour of students.

Sibal, who is on here to attend the India-US Education Dialogue, told reporters that it was clear that autonomy of IITs needed to be maintained but questioned how their autonomy was being affected by the decision.

“Academic autonomy of IIT system has to be maintained, and must be maintained that is quite clear. But if someone says look autonomy of IITs is being jeopardised, I would respectfully beg to differ. If I am enlightened further how it is being jeopardised, I am always open to make them more empowered,” he said.

The minister’s comments come after the senate of IIT Kanpur came out against the common test amd announced a separate entrance test from 2013.

Senates of several other IITs have followed suit, with many saying they did not agree to this new format with merged entrance of IITs with that for the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) and Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIITs). The new format also includes a fixed weightage from school board marks to the entrance test score.

The IIT Faculty Federation, and alumni associations have called the decision an attack on the autonomy of the institutions. They have said the senates were overruled while taking this decision, even as several IIT directors spoke in favour of the new format.

Sibal, however, said the decision of the common entrance test was not his, but of the IIT council.

“Quite frankly this is not the minister’s decisions. This is the unanimous decision of the IIT Council, consisting of all the IIT directors and chairmen. Then we have the IIIT Council representatives there, we have NIIT Council representatives there. All of them decided unanimously for a particular course of action,” he said.

“In terms of the IIT Act, there is an IIT Council. In terms of that Act, the Council is entitled to take certain decisions by virtue of a statue. The Council has endorsed those decisions. I do not know what the exact objections to it is? I will go back and find out the exact nature of these objections and will surely address it,” he said.

The IIT Faculty Federation and IIT Delhi Alumni Association have also decided to meet the prime minister over the issue.

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