New Delhi: Contending that IIT Council's nod to hold the engineering entrance test under a new format is a "breach of trust", IIT-Kanpur faculty federation on Saturday said any new system should not be introduced before 2014.

"For students aspiring to appear in JEE 2013, the IIT Council proposal is a breach of trust. Both the processes and content of the new examination will not be clear to them any time soon because work on details has not even been initiated.

In no case should any new system be introduced before 2014," the federation said in a statement.

The proposal to hold the common test under the new format was cleared at a meeting of the Councils of IITs, NITs and IIITs on May 28 chaired by HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.

"The examination announced by the HRD Ministry is a unilateral decision of IIT Council against the advice and decisions of IIT-Kanpur Senate, which has the prerogative of deciding its admission criteria," the statement said.
It said the format announced is a "piecemeal patch-work" with "serious academic and organisational lacunae" in each of the components of the test. "It has the potential of becoming a national disaster if not opposed by all stakeholders at this stage."

The federation said while a large number of admission tests is certainly undesirable, a single test on the other hand would be more harmful as it is likely to lead to much more stress, and it can become unfair to a large number of students because of contingent uncertainties.

The IIT Alumni Association has already decided to move court against the decision.

The IIT-Kanpur faculty federation felt using school board marks through percentile based normalisation as proposed under the new format is untested, and based on questionable hypothesis.

"In fact, the procedure has not been fully endorsed even by the expert committee that was consulted for the purpose. Furthermore, making the board marks count numerically will put undesirable stress on fairness of examinations and uniformity of standards across different school boards," it said.

Observing that students are victims of a bad school system, the federation said attributing failure of the schooling system to engineering admission tests is to abrogate the responsibility of improving it.

"The new format is a retrograde step and reverses the continuous churning within the IIT system to improve its admission process academically.

"The decision to effect the changes, that too from 2013, against all academic advice, reeks of executive brinkmanship with the sole aim of hogging the limelight for reforms credit," the federation said.


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