A radical new idea for revamping IIT education is set to be discussed at the August 21st IIT Council meeting. The proposal includes dismantling the JEE Advanced exam, doing away with the flagship B Tech courses at IITs and converting IITs into high-end institutes that offer post-graduate education and only certain semesters of teaching to nearly 80,000 students a year instead of the current 10,000 plus.
The idea that has emerged from some eminent faculty members at a top IIT for ‘Revamping Engineering Education and Returning Childhood to Students’ is aimed at checking the multi-million IIT coaching industry and to take IIT-level teaching to more students.
Sources in the HRD ministry confirmed that the idea would be up for discussion at the IIT Council meeting but did not comment on the feasibility of its implementation.
The B Tech and the JEE Advanced are considered near sacrosanct in the IIT system. The proposal suggests that the JEE main results should classify all candidates into 10 groups based on marks range with all students in one range (say 80%-90%) treated as equal. While the JEE Advanced is proposed to be scrapped, the IITs and other top institutions may admit students from the top bucket without any further tests or interviews.
The radical proposal suggests that IITs forgo granting of B Tech degrees and instead provide one semester IIT experience to 8 times the number of students they educate at present. Admission to this semester-long experience into IITs will be for the 5th, 6th, 7th and 8th semesters of the B Tech programme (i.e., for the third and fourth year) and will be based on the performance in an examination based on NPTEL.
These students may be charged a sum of Rs 2 lakh for the IIT experience with bank loans without collateral coming in where necessary and special scholarships for reserved categories
Students who spend a semester at IITs will get degrees issued by their universities which explicitly mention the IIT semester experience.
Such students will also get a preferential admission into IITs to do an M Tech degree, provided they complete their bachelor’s degree with high marks. The IITs are envisaged as key mentoring institutes — each IIT is proposed to mentor a 100 colleges selected on basis of performance in National Institutional Ranking Framework and the accreditation score.