From 2017, less weightage to class XII marks for NIT entrance

The NDA government is doing away with the 40% weightage given to class XII grades for NIT admission. Following the IIT pattern, class XII grades will only be a cut-off benchmark for students seeking admission.



The NDA government is rolling back its predecessor’s decision to give 40 % weightage to an engineering aspirant’s Class XII Board marks for admission to the National Institutes of Technology (NIT). The change, which will be effective from 2017, is expected to be notified soon. Currently, the 31 NITs admit students based on all-India rankings arrived at by giving 60 % weightage to a candidate’s JEE (Main) performance and 40 % weightage to Class XII marks.

HRD Minister Smriti Irani, who is also the chairperson of the NIT Council, has decided that from 2017, NITs will no longer use Board performance to calculate ranks. They will, instead, follow the IIT practice of granting admission only if a candidate, apart from qualifying JEE (Advanced), is either in the top 20 percentile of his or her school Board or has scored at least 75 %.

The existing rule was implemented during the UPA-2 regime by the then HRD minister Kapil Sibal to reduce the influence of coaching and bridge the gender and urban-rural divide in classrooms. Sibal had then argued that according weightage to Class XII Board performance would help students focus on school education and wean them away from coaching classes, however, the current government feels that it has not worked out.

In fact, a 9-member panel, headed by Centre for Development of Advanced Computing director Rajat Moona, studied the admission data of 31 NITs over the last 3 years and concluded that instead of registering a decline, the influence of coaching among candidates taking the JEE (Main) grew by 4 percentage points. The number of JEE (Main) examinees assisted by tuitions increased from approximately 15 % of the total in 2012 to 19 % in 2014.


 “Both IITs and NITs will follow the same system and admit students solely on the basis of the entrance examination. The threshold for Board marks will only be a pre-condition for admission,” said an official on the condition of anonymity. Targeting the original bugbear of the influence of the coaching industry, the official said, “Students go to coaching institutes because the JEE assesses candidates on advanced or tougher curriculum which is not covered in schools. We have got an assurance from IITs and NITs that they will prepare questions based on the Class XII syllabus prescribed by school Boards.”

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