HRD minister Kapil Sibal on Tuesday said there was no proposal to allow only those with 80% marks in their Class XII examinations to
Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) for IITs in a bid to calm the controversy on the issue.
The minister said it was the IITs' prerogative to decide what weightage to give to the Class 12 exam. Presently, the eligibility criteria for JEE is 60% marks in the Class 12 exam.
Sibal said he was misquoted to create the impression that he wanted to raise the eligibility cut-off for IIT entrance to 80%.
With Bihar chief minister Nitish Kumar having faxed Sibal a letter of protest and RJD's Lalu Prasad and LJP's Ramvilas Paswan also on their feet, Sibal issued a written statement making it clear that the eligibility criteria to "appear in JEE is decided by the IITs themselves".
"The government of India has no role to play. The only decision that has been taken by the IIT Council is that the IITs will submit a report in January 2010 to rationalise JEE. It is entirely their decision to decide on the eligibility criteria. It is they who will consider what weightage to give to Class 12 examination," he said.
He added the government had "no jurisdiction in the matter and the HRD ministry can in no way, either directly or indirectly, decide or make any proposal for a decision".
Considering that one of the largest chunks of students in IITs come from Bihar, the state CM reacted swiftly. In a letter faxed to Sibal, Kumar said, "Such proposals will favour students with elite background and discriminate against students with poor socio-economic status. Any examination system should be inclusive. Any change in the existing examination system will have far reaching consequences, which is unwarranted." Lalu had said it was a "wrong step" and Paswan sought the prime minister's intervention.
Sibal, in his reply to Kumar, said the "alleged proposal" was "non existent". "I, therefore, would like to set at rest your concerns by stating that there is no such proposal as referred to in your letter," the minister wrote. "The question of promoting students of elitist background and discriminating against students belonging to the weaker sections of society is entirely misconceived. The Congress party has always stood for equity in all government process and decision-making. All examinations must and should be inclusive," he added.
Source : Times of India