NEW DELHI: In a significant move, the HRD Ministry on Thursday announced the doubling of IITs’ fees and a complete waiver for students of SC, ST communities and persons with disabilities.
The Ministry has also decided to change the format of the joint entrance examination (mains) for admissions to NITs and IITs, with the scrapping of the 40 per cent weightage given to Class XII board examinations.
Instead, a student has to now score at least 75 per cent marks or be in the top 20 percentile to qualify for JEE. For SC/ST students, this condition will be relaxed to 65 per cent. The changes will, however, come into effect from 2017. Under the existing two phase test introduced in 2012, the JEE (mains) is the first stage for selection to the NITs, IIITs and centrally-funded technical institutions.
Those who clear this test may appear for the JEE (advanced) conducted exclusively for the IITs. Forty per cent weightage is given to the Class XII board marks in preparing the merit list.
Thursday’s decision follows the recommendation of an expert committee set up to examine the ‘one exam one rank’ proposal for admission into the prestigious technical institutes. It had recommended a common entrance test both for IITs and NITs and doing away with weightage given to Class XII board exams. As per an estimate, 13 lakh students take the JEE for admission to IITs, NITs annually.
In a related development, the government on Thursday also announced one of the steepest hikes in recent times in tuition fee of undergraduate programmes at IITs, with the annual fee going from `90,000 to `2 lakh. The hike will come into effect from the coming academic session.
The decision came after the IIT Council Standing Committee recommended a three-fold hike in tuition fees that would have raised the amount to `3 lakh per year. But HRD Minister Smriti Irani, chair of the council, decided to cap the fee at `2 lakh, officials said.
SC and ST students and students with disabilities will get complete fee waiver. Students from the most economically backward category, with an annual family income lower than `1 lakh, will also get full waiver.