Saturday, August 27, 2005

Major changes in the JEE proposed - but will they be any good?

The Times of India is reporting about the proposed changes in the JEE in this article.

The 4 main changes proposed by the committee headed by Dr. C.N.R. Rao are:

1. The syllabus should be of the level of class XII
2. Have only one exam instead of two [this process lasted until 1999, when I took the exam, after which the two-stage process was introduced.]
3. Make it a purely objective test.
4. You must have 60% in the XII exam to qualify.

Some questions come to my mind... and I do not have answers to them.. maybe you - my learned readers can comment and shed some light.

1. With the exam being completely objective, how will students get to show that they "almost" know.. something that was possible with partial grading in the long form ?

2. How are they going to check the 60% in the XII rule... if students have just appeared for their XII boards and the results are not out? Or do they want only people who are one year beyond their class XII to take the JEE. What happens if someone is the victim of bad grading in the board exams... as is rampant all over.

3. The syllabus will be of class XII level, but which board? The article says that this will help the "poor students", but then what about the poor students in the villages who have access only to the state boards, which may not cover the same topics?

Welll.. this is my list... I am all in for the objectives [get rid of the coachings, make it non-finance dependent while maintaining the standards], but somehow the recommendations do not make sense to me.

what say you.. my learned audience?

Please post comments, and leave behind your association with the JEE, if any, and your present status.

JEE 1999
PhD Student, Univ. of Southern California.


  1. Rahul6:41 AM

    I am strictly against all these points .... JEE tests problem solving skills and the current pattern is really pretty efficient in screening the best people. With objective tests, only the presence of mind will b tested as most of the questions will b solved by objective approach (which is currently applicable to the screening test) ... The current syllabus is already matching the syllabus of ISC board so no need to make any changes in that ... if Dr. Rao wants the poor to be able to get through JEE then the next step that wud b coming wud b that the fees in the IITs wud b decreased by leaps and bounds which is not at all good for the IITs.
    I think prof. Rao shud first of all conc. on starting UG courses in his own institute (IISc.) and then talk about changing the pattern of JEE ... the pattern of entrance as well as sustainance at iisc itself is pretty tough ... There is no need of the 60 percent stuff since everyone should be given a chance to prove his callibre ... seems like Dr. Rao is pretty much impressed by the entrance procedure of Bits pilani ...

  2. Akshay Sharma7:10 AM

    JEE pattern changes,
    lets start by questioning if they are necessary. This is important to understand the reason and rationale for the changes that have been proposed.

    1. Is the business of coaching really a bother to IIT's? Should they be concerned about curbing it ?

    2. Is the business of coaching a bother for the governmnet bodies ? Should they be controlling it ?

    3. How fair is the current admission process? Does it need a boost in its 'fairness' ? If yes, who is responsible for it ?

    Starting from here, the important criterion will emerge that will let us argue for or against the propsed changes. Unfortunately, the media coverage i have come across does not metion answers to any of the points above or the mandate of the comittee whose recomendations are mentioned above. Sensationalising the news was all they did, yellow journalism (?). ....

    Will try to add more to these comments

    Akshay Sharma
    JEE 99
    Running a R&D Company

  3. I am against of all the four points except second i.e taking just one exame as was the case till JEE-1999. JAB is running from their responsibility as making the exam objective based and simple will not solve the trouble of poor children rather will create uncertainities in getting selected to the exam. Some pts which I think are:

    1. For the long time IITs are known for the JEE as it takes the full exercise of your brain to clear JEE. An objective paper is not sufficient to judge the acumen of any student. JEE is the exam which doesn't test your knowledge but the application of mind. If it is just objective based paper then guess working etc will also be there and there may be the case when potentially good candidate is not selected, may it be any poor candidate too.

    2. 60 % marks in XII should not be the criteria. Good exam and institute is the one who relies on their own enterance exam and not on any board exam. I am sure that JAB is having good faculty for answer sheet checking and the chances of getting wrongly checked answer sheet are less in comparison to any of the board examination (no offence made).

    The present pattern of taking an objective and then subjective paper is just perfect but if JAB wants students to get rid of costly coaching institutes then some changes can be done in the subjective paper as making 60 % of the paper with easy ques which anyone can solve, 20 % paper consisting of the tricky and a bit difficult ques and 20 % of the paper consisting of the ques that are really hard to do. In this way the exam will be more exhausted and everyone will have something to write in the exam. And if we consider the previous 2-3 years exam, then this is not the case since the paper were very simple and it just created the uncertainities among the students to get selected in JEE. JAB consists of gentleman people and I am sure that they'll definitely be able to solve this riddle of getting rid of the coaching classes so that some good poor students also get selected as well as maintaining the standards of JEE as they are doing over the last many dacades.

    Arun Tangri
    Senior Undergraduate Student

  4. Anonymous3:23 PM

    i feel that the present pattern for JEE is best because u r having an objective test to check the sharpness
    of mind and also to check the application of mind u r having subjective papers.

    brijraj singh
    JEE 2002

  5. Anonymous8:25 PM

    I am in support to the proposed points by the Mr. Rao ,since they are mainly concerned about,
    Eliminating the need of coaching for clearing JEE,and it should be supported.
    Coaching can never be taken as a vital need for such a prestigious exam as it is now a days. As we all know JEE is more concerned about testing the real talent in terms of approach to problems and whether the candidate is taking science as somthing not only as a subject but as a way of thinking about the environment.
    And the exam as it is now a days tries to do the same but there is one major flaw ,the paper is not at all of the level 12th ,its much higher,and this supports coachings.
    And I am sure than noone is going to deny that the fees in coachings are no at all under the reach of a poor student.I myself have seen many talented students from my town leaving idea of JEE only because of this(I would like to add here that coaching for these students from small towns don't include the coaching fee only it also includes the hostel fee and many others.)
    So the course and also the sturcture of paper(which i think is more important)should be of 12th level only.
    As I have said before JEE means only testing just the application of concepts and basic fundamantals of science,not at all asking tricky questions.
    If you are able to answer questions on the basis some know fundamentals of science you have what needs to become an IITian.
    Ya for sure proposig only objective type paper should not be accepted due to the reasons listed by Animesh but i would like to suggest that
    1.If multiple aswers correct choices are there in objective questions, it can completely avoid any guesses and it should be added.One more thing some questions should be there with no answer correct and the candidate have to write the correct answer if he thinks it is not there with full olution(The evaluation would be not easy i suppose but just a thought).
    2.Objective questions in screening and screening test should remain because it is necessary to remove non serious candidates before mains.
    So far as problems with syllabus are concerned they are not at all difficult to solve ,some suggestions,
    1.HRD ministry should decide what should be the standard syllbus for 12th and try to make the syllabus of all boards same.
    2.In the present senario the cources are almost same,and if some ppl are thinking that states boards are lacking behind somewhere in terms are cources ,they are wrong.The state boards are lacking behind just because of faulty teaching techniques ,tutions and uninterested teachers and students.
    And at last the 60% thing,I am in support and wonder why you ppl are not getting it in right sence,and some ppl are misinterpreting it.
    I am quite sure that anywhere any student preparing sincerely and seriously with the cource is expected to get more than 60%.The people below it should not be allowed ,because if you haven't horked hard in 12th,how can JEE expect you to work similarly in IIT,where ppl are required to do so,but hey don't do usually, beacause they don't have this habit.
    (I am a supporter of intelligence with hard work,JEE dosn't require a genious kumbhkaran who sleeps for 6 months and after that in 6 months cracks what ever he get infront of him.)ooh sorry for being so boring and gogin out of the subject.
    So not to mention again I support MR. Rao with some modifications.

  6. Tarun Matta9:55 PM

    I don't even agree with the larger objectives behind these changes. There has been a lot of talk about getting rid of coaching institutes and changing JEE and other exams so that everyone has a fair chance.
    How do people think coaching institutes operate? Do students go there, pay exorbitant fees and, in return, are offered an All India Rank (AIR) at the end of two years. NO!!! Coaching institutes aren't superstores selling admission to some of the premier education institutes.

    What does a student get when he/she joins such an institute? They get access to good methodologies, teachers, peers and an atmosphere where they can learn and prepare for the examination. They may pay any amount to the institutes or their teachers but they still have to compete with more than a lakh (I don't know how much is it now) students and EARN their rank fairly.

    Are students who go to coaching institutes better placed to take the exam compared to those who do not?
    Yes, They surely are, this happens in every sphere of life and there is nothing wrong. Isn't a sportsman who got a better coach and training in a better position to win an Olympics gold?

    Its no different from the value a student derives from going to good private school. Just because you want everyone to be treated equally doesn't mean that all private schools be closed down and everyone should get access to similar education.

    We can extend the logic in the article and see how illogical it is - If everyone should have a fair chance of studying at IITs irrespective of economic status. Why should those who might be brilliant but couldn't go to school be denied the opportunity to go to IIT?

    It is impossible to get rid of coaching institutes. Whatever pattern of examination you may set there would be people helping the students perform better as per the laid out standard.

    The article also talks about making the whole process less stressful. When you are choosing less than 1% of the people who appear for the exam and the stake is so high, you may do whatever with the examination pattern, there is no way you can make it any less stressful.

    I believe the only solution is to make IITs more accessible by increasing the intake and improving the standards of other engineering colleges so that the difference between IITs and others isn't much. That’s when it will stop mattering much if you went to IIT or not. And that’s when then it'll be less stressful for students and probably number of coaching institutes will go down too.

    Send your comments/criticism to tarunmatta (at)

    Tarun Matta
    IT-BHU '2000
    IIM Indore '2003

  7. I think that present way of examining students in JEE is perfect. There should be no change in this style already the level of paper is too low. This year's (2005) physics main paper was a mockery...

    The coachings are doing no harm rather they are grooming the skills of the students ...Coachings are a boon to the economy of India .. take the example of Kota ... Its economy is based on coaching and nothing else...As far as finance is concerned there is no distinction as one can always find a so called poor man's son studying in a local eng. college paying fees more than that of IITS and paying Donations atleast 4 times than that of the fees of coachings for two years.

    I cannot understand why is govt. behind IITs.Aen't coachings of AIEEE,ISC, IIMs growing like mushrooms.

    if the government wants to remove the mains then it should increase the level of 12 th board ... and what do u think won't that promote coaching...

    IITs have their values only because of the students and no other reason for that...and degrading the level of IITs would mean degrading the level, the brandimage of IITs.

    PLz for the god's sake don't play politics with IITs...

    Anupam Jain
    CSE 2008 batch

  8. Anonymous11:47 AM

    I think there is a need to increase the number of IITs in the country. We now have very many talented students deserving admision to IIT level institutions. The govt must establish newer IITs.
    The present system seems to be okay.
    I have some questions:
    Are other Advanced countries (such as US, UK, Japan, China)interested in establishinng IIT like institutions with JEE type exams for UG admission?
    If yes,then what are they doing for it?
    If they are not interested in having such a perfected, time-tested system already operating in India, what could be the reasons?
    If we consider these questions seriously possibly more questions will be generated.

  9. Anonymous11:36 PM

    I have a different point view. I think we are missing the point here. We should try to solve the root problem and not fight over the temporary solutions. I think the root problem is that of lack of accessibility of IITs to a large section of the student population. I believe some 3000+ seats in IITs for a country with a 1,00,00,00,000+ population can only be termed unfair.

    As suggested by someone else as well we should concentrate on raising the standards of other institutions and making them IITs. Once we have a reasonable number of IITs we may not even think of the problems that we are talking about.

  10. Anonymous10:17 AM

    Economics Times dated 29.8.05 on page 12 has a posting from Ishani Dasgupta:

    IITs Take A Right Turn To High-End R&D.
    I think we should read that too.
    Number of IITs must be increased by creating establishing newer IITs and upgrading the institutions that are admitting students through JEE.