Girls are being encouraged to appear in IIT’s prestigious joint entrance examination (JEE). IIT-JEE girl candidates wouldn’t have to pay any application fee from next year. However, the application fee for boys would be raised from Rs 1,000 to Rs 1,800.
From 2012, applicants would also be allowed to carry a copy of optic response sheet on which answers are inscribed immediately after the examination. Also, answers can be circled by pen, instead of pencil as is being done now. These decisions were taken on Friday by the IIT joint admission board (JAB). Next year’s JEE would be conducted by IIT-Delhi. IITs had initiated reforms in small measures from last year. For instance, answers were put out by the JAB before the results came out. However, it was done 35 days after the test. Also, the scanned copies of optic response sheet of candidates were put on JAB website after the result. But errors, worth 30 marks, were also pointed out.
IITs could feel fresh heat on carrying out more reforms as the Supreme Court has set aside theDelhi High Court order that dismissed a PIL by Rajeev Kumar of IIT-Kharagpur. HC had said Kumar does not have the locus standi to demand reforms in JEE. However, last week a SC bench of Justice G S Singhvi said, “The High Court was not justified in non-suiting the appellant on the ground of lack of locus without even adverting to the averments made by him that he was a professor in the Indian Institute of Technology- Kharagpur, that his son and daughter had appeared in the Joint Entrance Examinations conducted in 2006 and 2010 respectively and that he was interested in ensuring that the Joint Entrance Examination is conducted in a transparent and fair manner so that meritorious students may not suffer.” The matter has since gone back to the Delhi HC.
In his PIL, Kumar had demanded that JAB should release model answers along with solutions immediately after the examination. He also wanted an investigation into the irregularities, tampering and fraud in the conduct of JEE and in granting admissions in IITs. Kumar had also prayed for setting up of a committee of independent experts to prescribe a rational system for determination of subject cut-offs and for eliminating other discrepancies and irregularities.