26 April 2011

The government is replacing all engineering entrances, including Indian Institutes of Technology-Joint Entrance Examination (IIT-JEE) and All India Entrance Examination for Engineering (AIEEE), with one National Aptitude Test (NAT).

The reform is likely to benefit more than 10 lakh students every year, who at present have to take multiple examinations to get into engineering courses.
In a meeting, which was attending by the directors of IIT Delhi, Kanpur and other engineering institutions, the government broadly agreed on “one nation one examination” policy. Dr T Ramaswamy, secretary, department of science and technology was entrusted the job to re-look at the test methodology of selecting students and have a common system for admission. According to sources, NAT will be similar to the single medical entrance test that the Medical Council of India (MCI) will conduct from next year.
The state governments may not approve the idea of NAT and the IITs do not want the JEE system to be destroyed. “You already have a good system working, why destroy it,” an IIT director said.
During the last meeting of the IITs council, there was no consensus on having a single entrance examination for admissions. Seven out of 15 IITs favoured having a separate “add-on” examination in addition to the NAT. However, HRD minister Kapil Sibal is of the view that if IITs have an additional exam then nothing stops other institutions like planning and architecture colleges etc to have their own exams.
The Science Advisory Council to the Prime Minister in its recommendations has also favoured a single entrance examination for engineering.
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