Tuesday, October 20, 2009

IIT eligibility

[Update: Minister Kapil Sibal says this whole thing was misquoted or wrongly reported.]

All newspapers are reporting Kapil Sibal as stating that students should get at least 80% marks in class XII exams in addition to qualifying and getting a high enough rank in JEE. Apparently, the current eligibility is 60% in class XII.

The 60% rule itself is surprising to me. In 1987, when I went to IIT Madras, no such eligibility rule existed. We were expected to pass the class XII exams conducted by an approved board. That was it. The IIT administration asked for my mark sheet to take a cursory look. That was it.

What is the need for introducing this 60% and 80% rule, if the JEE is considered to be a comprehensive test of the fundamentals? (That JEE itself needs massive improvement is another issue.) It is another matter that getting 80% in class XII should not be difficult for any of the top 5000+ rank holders in IIT JEE. But the very demand seems ridiculous.

Sibal has a tough problem in hand, dealing with the educational mess in the country. He should not waste his time on small matters such as this.


  1. The reason for introducing this prereq is to nullify the residential coaching mills such as in Kota, Rajasthan. See:

  2. I do not agree with you raghu, Take a survey of govt. schools and colleges in the lesser developed states, even in states with good GDP and all that you call a mark for development has state boards which don't award marks in a manner similar to ICSE and CBSE. How can you justify 60%, it is only because they want to cut crowd in competitive examinations. Everybody knows the rotten school system of INDIA do not teach innovation and allow free thinking, here coachings come as an necessary evil to crack exams like IIT. Mr Sheshadri has been to IIT Madras in 1987. How many institutes of international repute we have added up in the 24 years? Do the HRD Ministry have an answer?