Sibal retracts: IITs will decide eligibility criteria for entrance exams

      Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal today clarified that the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) will themselves decide the eligibility criteria for students appearing for the Joint Entrance Examination. He said this while addressing a press conference at New Delhi on Tuesday (October 20). Sibal also noted that the Government of India or HRD ministry can in no way make any proposal for such a decision. It may be recalled that the HRD Minister on Monday had mooted a proposal whereby a student would have to secure at least 80 percent marks in the 12th standard instead of 60 per cent for qualifying entrance exams of IITs, India's premier engineering institutions. The proposal raised a hue and cry among the students across the country, eyeing to get through the entrance of IIT. Chief Minister of Bihar , Nitish Kumar, termed this as discriminatory and asked Sibal to rethink. "The eligibility criteria to appear in JEE (joint entrance examination) are decided by the IITs themselves. The Government of India has no role to play and any report which suggests that there is a proposal to allow only those who obtain 80 percent marks in their 12th standard examination to sit for the JEE is baseless. "The only decision that has been taken by the IIT (Governing) Council is that the IITs will submit a report in January 2010 to rationalise the JEE. It is entirely their decision to decide on the criteria. It is they who will consider what weightage is to be given to the 12th class examination. It is they who will decide whether percentile should be the basis for admission. "The Government of India has no jurisdiction in the matter and the HRD Ministry can in no way, either directly or indirectly, decide or make any proposal for a decision," said Sibal. At the press conference, the minister almost lost his cool to a couple of posers from the media persons. He refused to speak anything else apart from a written statement.

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