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Govt defends percentile system

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Indicating that the Central Government is not contemplating any change in the revised format of IIT admissions, Minister of State for Human Resource...

Indicating that the Central Government is not contemplating any change in the revised format of IIT admissions, Minister of State for Human Resource Development Shashi Tharoor has on Wednesday said the new system for admission to IITs which takes into account school board exam marks is a "good system" for fair comparison of different school boards.

"Percentiles are a good basis of comparing different boards and they are non-discriminatory," Tharoor said in a written reply in the Lok Sabha. "They take into account the variations in examinations conducted by different boards. Based on this year's examination data, the cut-off percentile score for top 20 percentile varies from one board to another. Since different boards evaluate differently, percentiles have been used to ensure a fair comparison of students belonging to different boards," he said.

A controversy has erupted over the new system which blocked the chances of many a meritorious student- especially from Andhra Pradesh. The students who missed the admission because of the faulty system, have challenged in the Supreme Court stating that the methodology adopted benefited some states and disadvantageous to others particularly the southern states.

Explaining the new system of admission to the IITs, the minister said in the new scheme of the Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) (Advanced), only the top 1.5 lakh candidates (including all categories) based on their performance in the JEE (Main) qualify to appear in the JEE (Advanced) examination.

The admissions to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) are based only on their category-wise all India rank in JEE (Advanced), subject to the condition that such candidates are in the top 20 percentile of successful candidates in class 12 examinations conducted by their respective boards in applicable categories.

The percentile cut off mark of AP students was much higher than that of Tripura, Assam and Bengal students. The admission to the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) are based on combined merit list created by giving 40 percent weightage for performance in class 12 Board marks normalized on percentile basis with the remainder 60 percent weightage for performance in the JEE (Main).

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